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Manchester High Athletic Complex Named In Memory Of 'Big Mitch'

As Manchester High hosted its first home football game of the season, the school community turned out to honor a beloved figure.

Barry Mitchell, who worked as a security guard at the high school for 18 years, died of a heart attack in January. Mitchell — known as Big Mitch — was a popular figure with generations of students, and his death at age 53 shook the school.

On Friday night, the school's athletic complex was dedicated in his honor. The complex will be known as the Barry "Mitch" Mitchell Athletic Complex, and the plaque unveiled at the dedication will be placed near the entrance.

"On that January morning, we lost a gem, a true treasure," Mayor Jay Moran told the crowd at pregame ceremony. "Big Mitch is not a security guard. Big Mitch was that surrogate parent. Big Mitch was that good friend. ... If he was in this athletic complex, you could hear him screaming a yelling."

Moments after the dedication, Manchester took a quick lead against New Britain when senior Jevin Frett returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. That was the first of four touchdowns from Frett — including two on kickoff returns — but it wasn't enough, as New Britain ran to a 62-38 victory.

Both teams are 1-1, with New Britain responding with the win after losing to Conard to open the season. Manchester opened with a win at Enfield.

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