Centennial linebacker George Mitroka's father is a lieutenant colonel in the Army. Maybe that's where the young Mitroka gets his first-man-over-the-hill attitude.
Wherever it comes from, it's hard not to notice the hard-charging Mitroka. The senior co-captain is one of the most aggressive and disruptive players in the league. He's helped his team to a 4-2 record.
"He's one of the most aggressive players I've ever coached," said Centennial coach Ed Holshue. "He's exceptionally quick and very instinctive, so we just turn him loose and let his instincts take over. He's that good. So far he's making me look good. He's made very few errors."
Mitroka's best game was last week against Mount Hebron, a 26-0 Centennial victory. He had three quarterback sacks to raise his season's total to 12.
"I felt like I was in a different zone against Mount Hebron," he said. "We're supposed to be aggressive and attack the quarterback. If I read pass I go straight for him. We call it 'The Crash.' Sometimes I get burned by the bootleg."
Holshue said: "He took Mount Hebron completely out of its game. They were so flustered that they double-teamed him and sometimes triple-teamed him and couldn't stop him. I've never seen a kid so dominate a game. When they ran away from him he caught them from behind. When they ran at him he took their best shots."
Brute strength, something normally associated with great linebackers, is not one of the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Mitroka's top attributes.
"He hasn't done a lot of weight lifting, so he's not that strong," Holshue said. "He's just so quick that other teams can't jam him."
Mitroka has 22 unassisted tackles and 25 assisted tackles. He's batted down three passes and caused three fumbles.
He also plays tight end and is the team's second-leading receiver with 12 catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns.
"I definitely prefer defense," Mitroka said. "We have a great defensive line with Aaron Perkins, Mike Cochran, Jesse McCormick and Josh Levine. And we have other great players like Scott Bross, Marwan Oweis, Matt Roney and John Woods."
During three county games, the Eagles have allowed a total of 15 points and have recorded back-to-back shutouts.
"You have to have a mental attitude that no one can stop you," Mitroka said. "It's reacting, reading and putting your head in."
Mitroka's father played 150-pound football and his uncle played varsity at West Point. And Mitroka hopes to follow in their footsteps.
The family moved to the county from Hawaii when Mitroka was a sophomore. He played junior varsity and the team went 6-1.
"He was skinny but outstanding as a sophomore," Holshue said.
Mitroka started the last five varsity games at nose tackle last season.
"We had a tough lineup to crack," Holshue said of his 7-3 team.
Mitroka practices as hard as he plays.
"Monday afternoon we were having a passing drill and he makes a diving interception," Holshue said. "He knows no other way but full speed."
Mitroka, who is taking advanced placement economics and calculus, and honors Spanish and English, has a 3.68 GPA and a 1,220 score on the Scholastic Assessment Test. He also plays varsity basketball and runs track.