Van Horn's Arlandes Mitchell at a loss for words, not talent

By Bill Althaus
The Examiner

Van Horn's Arlandes Mitchell was sharing some good-natured ribbing with his teammate Jason Skivers before a recent practice session for the BeYOUnion Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game. 

"You need Sean," Skivers, the Van Horn defensive end who is never at a loss for words himself, said, referring to the eminently quotable Van Horn quarterback Sean Mitchell (no relation), who often orchestrated his friend's postgame interviews. "This is a big time and you need to be able to talk about all the things you did this season!" 

While Mitchell is one of those rare athletes who makes everything seem easy on the football field, he is not always comfortable talking about his exploits. 

No problem, because anyone who has ever seen him play can fill a scrapbook with Mitchell stories.

Van Horn's Arlandes Mitchell, right, returns a kickoff for a touchdown last season. Mitchell, the all-state kick returner who has signed with MidAmerica Nazarene University, will play for the Missouri team in Thursday's BeYOUnion Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game at North Kansas City High School.

Earning the nickname 'Weapon X' 

Like the night he earned the nickname "Weapon X" from his friend and teammate, Sean Mitchell, who was recently added to the roster of the game set for 7 p.m. Thursday at North Kansas City High School. 

Arlandes returned the opening kickoff for a 68-yard touchdown, ran for a 15-yard score, grabbed a 59-yard touchdown pass from Sean and capped his big night with a pick-six, returning the interception 65 yards to the end zone to help Van Horn cruise to a 43-6 victory over Kansas City Northeast. 

“The man scored four touchdowns! Four touchdowns, and he scored every way you can score,” an excited Sean said after that game as he waved four fingers to emphasize his comment. “We need to get you a nickname – ‘Weapon X.’ Yeah, I like that nickname.” 

Former Van Horn coach William Harris, who is now the head coach at his alma mater, Raytown South, also enjoys talking about his former Falcon standout. 

"Sean loves to talk, and Arlandes isn’t used to interviews," Harris said. "Once he’s around Sean, he doesn’t need to talk much because Sean can talk enough for both of them.” 

More:Van Horn's Mitchells earn all-state track honors

From a football injury to all-state second-team pick 

Van Horn graduate Arlandes Mitchell talks with teammates during a practice for the BeYOUnion Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game. Mitchell, the all-state kick returner, will play receiver and return kicks for the Missouri team.

Arlandes played in just two games in 2019 as he suffered an early-season shoulder injury. 

“He was flying under the radar because he played in just two games in 2019," Harris said, "but after last year, everyone knows about him." 

Arlandes was The Examiner's All-Area first-team all-purpose player and a Missouri Football Coaches Association Class 4 all-state second-team pick – and for good reason. 

He finished with 99 carries for 953 yards and 10 touchdowns. He added 31 receptions for 412 yards (13.3-yard average) and six touchdowns. Mitchell averaged 33.3 yards on 21 kickoff returns and returned three kicks for touchdowns and finished with more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. 

He also earned All-Crossroads Conference and all-district honors. He also earned all-state honors in track with an eighth-place finish at state in the 200 meters. 

More:Mitchell duo helps Van Horn earn four spots at state track

'I let my play do my talking' 

And Thursday night he hopes to be one of Cole Keller's favorite targets as the Missouri vs. Kanas All-Star Game returns after a year's absence because of COVID. 

"I hope that big guy from Grain Valley is back soon," Arlandes Mitchell said, referring to Keller, a Class 5 all-state quarterback who is headed to Washburn University to play football after helping lead the baseball team to a Class 5 second-place state finish. "Man, he can throw that football." 

As his all-star teammates collected their gear and prepared for a practice session at North Kansas City High School, the soft-spoken Mitchell just smiled. 

"I let my play do my talking," said Mitchell, who has signed to play football at MidAmerica Nazarene University. "And I hope we get a win Thursday. Not many players get the chance to win their final high school game and I'm getting the chance to win my last game with Jason, Sean and Coach Harris." 

Not a bad quote for a guy who avoids the spotlight. Sean Mitchell would be proud.