Moir Christmas Classic: Salisbury girls coach excited to be back
It has been 25 years since Andrew Mitchell has officially been a part of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic.
He was a senior at North Rowan back in 1983 when one of his highlights was heading to Catawba for the annual event.
“As a kid in junior high, you looked forward to getting to high school and playing in the Christmas tournament,” Mitchell said. “It was always a great time.”
The fans are expecting another great time from Mitchell’s Salisbury Hornet girls tonight as they begin their march toward a sixth straight title. After a first-round bye, the 9-0 Hornets meet Davie County in the 6 p.m. semifinal.
The second day of the Moir begins with a noon girls matchup between Carson and North Rowan.
East’s girls take on South at 3 p.m. in the other semifinal.
Mitchell got that old Moir feeling while scouting Davie on Saturday.
“I felt the same way I did in high school,” said Mitchell, who is in his first year coaching Salisbury after a long stint in the college ranks. “Right now, the feeling is great. It’s hard to describe. I’m excited.”
Mitchell has been excited since taking over. His veteran team hasn’t come close to losing, but today’s foe, Davie, gave the Hornets their toughest test of the season, scoring 47 in a 17-point loss.
“They did some good things against us,” Mitchell said. “They have a good team. And they feel like they have a chance.”
Salisbury is led by senior Shi-Heria Shipp, who went over the 1,000-point mark for her career last week. But she has plenty of help.
“We have six seniors who have played together for a long time,” Mitchell said. “They work hard.”
Catawba is also a place where Mitchell played in college. So being in that gym today will be the ultimate feel-good experience.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to play for a championship, it’s special,” Mitchell said.