In 2012 he dominated all over the field and helped lead the Tigers to their second consecutive nine-win season. Aside from lining up on offense and defense, Shegos also served as the team’s punter, place kicker and kick return specialist.
Before the 2012 campaign was over, Shegos had scored 14 total touchdowns, intercepted seven passes and piled up 1357 yards of total offense. According to Mlive.com, his seven interceptions led the state.
Considering Fenton plays in the tough Flint Metro League, posting stats like that is no easy task. Along with the Tigers, Linden and Lapeer West are also perennial league powerhouses. Holly, Swartz Creek, Lapeer East and Brandon have all fielded strong squads in recent years and have given opponents fits.
Overall, Fenton has knocked off some tough teams in recent seasons, such Farmington Hills Harrison, Marquette and Midland. However, the Tigers have seen their state title hopes dashed in the playoffs by difficult opponents such as Walled Lake Western in 2012 and Lowell in 2011.
As for Shegos, he is a player who didn’t get much recognition outside of his local area, despite his impressive performance at Fenton.
The D Zone honored Shegos as All Michigan First Team Offense and All Southeastern First Team Offense. He was also selected as First Team Offense and First Team Defense by the Flint Metro League coaches.
Shegos’ 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions are Fenton school records, as is a 98-yard touchdown he scored.
During Shegos’ recruiting process some of the GLIAC programs, such as Ferris State University, extended offers to him. He visited some of the GLIAC schools, but on National Signing Day faxed his Letter of Intent to Notre Dame College. In the final week leading up to National Signing Day, Shegos also considered the option of walking on at one of the state’s Division 1 programs, such as University of Michigan.
|Fenton WR/DB Mitch Shegos signs LOI with Notre Dame College|
Shegos was asked what factors led to his decision, during the final week, to sign with NDC.
"I chose NDC because of what they had to offer, they offer a great education, a place where I can succeed at and take great steps toward my career. Also I have a great chance of coming in and making an impact early, but with that comes a challenge to prepare myself for the college level and adapt to changes. That is something I look forward to taking on and helping my team. I called coach (Adam) Howard at about 11:50 Tuesday night and told him l wanted to play for him. It was a long thought process, should I hold out and see if I get any calls or take an outstanding offer that I probably won't see again. A chance to play four more years of a game I love, for a new program was something l wanted to be a part of. I want to make a name for Notre Dame College but also for myself. I want to show the other colleges what they missed out on and show everyone the NDC is something you should want to be a part of. The coaches are outstanding; they would give me calls to check in on me asking how I was, how my family was or how basketball was. They always reminded me how bad they wanted me and how they want the chance to coach me. When they would say that it gives you a great feeling because most of the time it’s the other way around with athletes wanting to play for certain coaches. The coaches were a major factor in my decision; they were honest with me the whole time and that showed me that, that is how it will be for the next four years. You won't like the college you choose if you don't like the coaches. With NDC I love that coaching staff and look forward to getting to know them."
After playing in the GLIAC in 2012, NDC is now a member of the Mountain East Conference, which primarily features West Virginia schools. NDC is also a newer football program, which is starting to make its mark by bringing in several top recruits from Michigan. That was evident this season, as the Falcons picked up quite a few big prospects from Michigan.
Shegos described the recruiting process and what steps he went through.
"Besides going to see schools play on the weekends, recruitment didn't start till a couple weeks after football season ending. When I visited NDC, they gave me my first offer. Then I was getting more calls and emails and coaches would come to school to meet with me. It was mostly GLIAC schools. So I ended up visiting Ferris State, Northwood, Grand Valley then started talking to Valparaiso late and only getting offers from Ferris and Northwood. I've always wanted to play at the highest level possible just waiting to see if I would get "that" call from a Division 1 school. There came a point about a couple days before signing day where "that" call wasn't going to happen and to understand at that and that level I would be a role player and would have to work my way up, maybe never seeing the field all four/five years. Or l can go to a very good academic and athletic school in Notre Dame College. Then it hit me and knew NDC was the place for me."
With Mitch Shegos being a multi-position standout, it could be a challenge for college coaches to decide where he would play. However, Shegos said the NDC coaching staff is interested in him taking on multiple roles for the Falcons.
"They see me playing at receiver and contributing on special teams. They want me to do exactly what I did in high school which was make big plays during the course of the game. Coach Mental, the receivers coach, is a great coach and I can't wait to learn and play under him. Coach Howard, the head coach, is one of the best coaches I've talked to. He wants to win just like I do. He expects big things from me and I look forward to making those things happen and to play under him and the rest of the coaching staff."
The campus of NDC is approximately 10 miles from Downtown Cleveland and is about a six-hour drive from Shegos’ home.
Shegos described what he liked about the campus and the distance from home.
"When I first visited NDC I liked it a lot, it's a smaller campus which is great because I'll get to know everyone and build relationships with professors and students. It's nice that Cleveland is right there because before or after graduating I plan on getting an internship in the city, I've always liked visiting big cities and what great opportunity to work in one. Distance is perfect, if I wanted to go visit home for a day or on a weekend its not going to take a day, I can knock out the drive in a few hours."
One of the main things that Shegos said he likes about the NDC program is the team’s offensive style, which is one that he said would best compliment his skills.
"I definitely looked at the offense at different schools and NDC's offense fits my game perfect. It is a high-powered, fast offense where you can spread the defense with some out routes, then hit one deep. Also the running game is extremely sound and gets the job done. I look forward to contributing in a explosive offense and putting up points."
When it comes to his future NDC teammates, Shegos explained that he has already connected with other recruits, as well as current Falcons, and has established friendships.
"When I went on my visits right off the bat I made some friendships. One messaged me saying he would be visiting too, so before we met each other we got a chance to know who each other was. Now that I'm signed I've gotten tweets and messages from players who signed and who are already on the team just saying welcome to the Falcon family. It's a good feeling to know that a brothership is already starting. I look forward to grinding practices and battling in games with these guys by my side."
As Shegos is expected to have an impact on the program right away, he was asked what the Falcons could expect from him.
"I definitely feel I can help the team in a bunch of ways. I'm the type of player who will do anything to make the team better. If they need me to play receiver I'll do it, if they need me to return kicks and punts I'll do it, if they need me to fill up water bottles I'll do it. I am a very coachable player and catch on quick. Also I always try to be the hardest working player day in and day out. I'm very competitive and hate losing. I will give it everything, got to win. I put in the work to make myself better, working on footwork, handwork, and route running and getting stronger. I believe that's why I had the year I did my senior year, I'm only going to keep putting the work in and keep getting better. I also understand the game of football; I try to always put myself in a position to make a play for my team. I am the type of player who doesn't get rattled in big time games I always seem to make the big plays for my team. I will continue to prepare myself for the college level and throughout my next four next years I'm there. I will do everything I can to win and win championships."
At Fenton there were many highs for him and his teammates. Shegos said he will always cherish the memories and he recalled some of those moments.
"I can still remember the first day I walked to a summer workout and being the new kid, only knowing a couple of the guys, barely knowing the coaches. We went to the Notre Dame 7 on 7 camp (and) the coaches didn’t know where to put me because I was a quarterback when I played at Kearsley. They threw me in at receiver and I never looked back, everything that came my way I caught and made plays out of like 150 teams from all over we made it to the final four. Also beating Harrison this year was something I'll never forget. Harrison is a powerhouse program and no one expected us to even be in the game. We went out and did what we were supposed to do and we ended up beating them and shocking many schools around the state. That was something that made me proud was because my teammates and I put Fenton football on the map. When I decided to move to Fenton I had a lot of people doubting me and I had a past coach tell me I wouldn't get anywhere by moving. ‘I was too slow, not big enough, not strong enough and was just a normal player.’ I used that as motivation to get to where I am now. I read that email before every game. Fenton football helped me through adversity and understand to not let my mind get ahead of me and to just be the player I can be."
Fenton had a challenging schedule in 2012 and Shegos discussed what it was playing in the Flint Metro League.
"Playing in the Metro was nice because some many of the guys from different teams start to gain respect for each other just from playing them. There are some great rivalries within the conference making games mean a lot. Every year you never know who will be at the top of the league like this year Swartz Creek kind of came from nowhere and surprised a lot of the teams. Linden and Lapeer West are always strong programs. So the FML was a great conference but I would have also have liked to play some schools in the Detroit area and see how we match up and compare to them."
Shegos will be passing on the Fenton captain role to a new player next year and passing the torch for future Fenton teams to come. He closed our interview by discussing the future of Fenton football.
"As for Fenton football now the players understand the expectations and that is to win games and make runs in the playoffs. The players now know what it takes to become a collegiate athlete and that takes work, I was always pushing the guys to get better and to do the right things. I always let them know we are as good as anyone if we wanted to be, if we set our minds to it we can reach goals. I showed players that you don't have to be 6'5 230 to move on the next level that if you work hard and practice at what you don't do well and keep improving on what you do, do well that you can get where you want. I keep telling the juniors who will be seniors to not take things for granted because high school football only lasts for so long and those Friday night games run up quick. There is nothing better then the lights on and the crowd going crazy and a close ball game. Coach (Jeff) Setzke is an outstanding coach and he will get the right guys in the position to be successful and he will get them motivated and play at a level just like we did this year. I know he hates losing and he won't accept it. Fenton football is on the rise and it can only get better from here."