“It’s a big loss for us,” Pioneer coach Mike Johnson said. “Certainly not only on offense with his leadership but on the defensive side at cornerback, where he was really starting to come around. He was just starting to feel a little better with his Achilles, which was still bothering him, to play defense at corner. He was starting to play the ball like he did last year.”
Freshman Sam Kiser will move from halfback to quarterback.
“Whitlock will stay at tight end,” Johnson said. “We’ve moved our fullback from the JV, Justin Mersch, up to the varsity. He’s got some toughness and got some savvy.”
Johnson said Kiser will move over to cornerback to fill in for Williams there as well, and that there will be a rotation of three players filling in at safety.
Pioneer senior lineman Josh Lytle said Williams will be missed on the field.
“I hate to see our quarterback go down, or any player go down, especially a senior player like Mitchell. He’s a really big part of our team,” he said. “I’m glad we have a backup who can step up and play. It’s not the same as having Mitchell. It’s never good losing a player who has played for so long and who’s a good friend of yours.”