Farmington Phoenix: Mitch Nielsen shows perseverance and hard work are keys to success

Farmington Phoenix: Mitch Nielsen shows perseverance and hard work are keys to success

by James Tate

2020 start of something special

The Phoenix 2020 season ended on a five-game losing streak and an overall 2-9 record. 2021 saw a turn in the program with an 8-4 overall record but lost to the Skyridge Falcons in the quarterfinals 52-7. In 2022, the Phoenix are in the semi-finals and are one step away from playing in the state championship and Mitch Nielsen has been a major part of the success.

Perseverance, leadership, and toughness are all characteristics Nielsen has shown in his Phoenix career. Before the teams lost to Skyridge in 2021, the Phoenix won an impressive playoff game against the West Panthers 10-7. That game saw Nielsen catch the game-winning touchdown pass from Easton Wight in the fourth quarter.

That game saw the Phoenix play physically and knock off a talented Panther team and give them a taste of what it will take to win in the playoffs. “Mitch Nielsen is the ultimate competitor.” said defensive coordinator Cody Caputo. “He is never afraid of the moment, and he just makes big plays when the game is on the line. He has the clutch factor.

Nielsen is a leader

Nielsen is a team captain and unquestioned leader on this year’s Phoenix squad. On the field, Nielsen plays with an emotion that inspires and gives the team energy and fire. He is a punishing blocker, makes the tough catch, and can break tackles to gain extra yards. Nielsen also will line up at linebacker and be a force on the defensive end.


Nielsen, a first-team all-region selection, leads the Phoenix with 42 receptions and 807 yards on the season. He also has a region-best 13 touchdown catches. In his Phoenix career, Nielsen has caught 111 passes for 1848 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Nielsen is a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators with his quickness, strength, and ability to find open spaces in the defense. Nielsen’s ability to read coverages and be a dependable target for quarterback Easton Wight over the past two years is a remarkable connection they have. Wight had a breakout junior season and became the co-offensive MVP of region 1. Nielsen was voted onto the all-region first team this year as well.

Accomplishments

2022 Team Captain

2022 1st Team All-Region

2021 3rd Team All-Standard Examiner

2021 Deseret News Honorable Mention

photo courtesy Kim McFadden IG:kmacphotographyy

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