At every home game for the Clovis football team, Mark Mitchell’s job is to wait for a Wildcats’ score. When it happens, Mitchell ignites a small but powerfully loud cannon as part of a Clovis celebration.
In last year’s contest against Eldorado, however, Mitchell admitted to a divided loyalty.
His nephew is Ross Williams, a senior this year at Eldorado, who is one of the Eagles’ most viable offensive weapons. In last week’s season-opening 42-14 victory over Valley, Williams caught four passes for 133 yards and — more impressive — turned three of those into touchdowns.
“I usually just tease him that he goes better in purple and if he ever wanted to play for a real football team, he’d come live with me for a year,” Mitchell said. “He always says, ‘Nah, I’m good with burnt orange.’”
Williams’ uncle said, because it’s his senior year, that he’d sit on Eldorado’s side for the Clovis game tonight in Albuquerque.
“Last year, when they came here, I was tickled to death that Clovis won. But I almost wanted to shoot the cannon every time Ross made a play,” Mitchell said.
Ross Williams’ grandfather is Mike Mitchell, who played drums for Norman Petty at his Clovis studio during that facility’s hey-day.
Mike Mitchell’s daughter is Sheryl Williams, mom of not only Ross but two other standout prep athletes.
Audra and Karah Williams excelled at the high school level in, respectively, volleyball and softball. Karah eventually played at Eastern New Mexico University before her college career was cut short by injury.
As for her son, Sheryl Williams said she isn’t sure what the future holds for him athletically.
“We’re just going to wait and see, because he plays basketball too. I kind of learned with the girls to just wait and see what happens and not stress yourself out about it,” said Williams of possible scholarship opportunities for Ross. “If it happens, great. If not, he’ll probably just go to UNM."