By NICK DOROGY, Gazebo Staff Writer
As the 2016 school year comes to a close, Stratford has produced two more athletes who will be continuing their sports careers in college next year.
Senior James Mitchell, a varsity basketball and baseball player, will be attending Covenant College to play basketball.
Football standout David Haithcock signed a national letter of intent to play at Berry College in Rome.
Both players signed during a school assembly in The Grady on Wednesday morning.
Mitchell will take his talents and exceptional work ethic to Covenant, a Division III school located in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, near Chattanooga. It competes in the Great South Atlantic Conference, and ended the 2015-16 season with an 18-10 record.
“It’s the perfect fit. He’ll be very prepared for the basketball, and he’ll be able to keep his grades up. The coaches will be thrilled to have him,” said Stratford basketball coach Jamie Dickey.
“James is a coach’s dream,” said Dickey. “He works extremely hard.”
The 5-foot-10 point guard hit 90 career three-pointers, ranking 10th all-time on the varsity. He was part of three region championships, one state final, and the Eagles won 79 of 95 games.
Mitchell also boasted an impressive academic career, finishing as an honor graduate and receiving the 2016 highest GPA award.
Haithcock, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive tackle, helped lead the Eagles to the state semifinals this past season. Haithcock was a crucial component in Stratford’s record-breaking offense.
“Big Dave” will attend Berry college, which started its football program in the fall of 2013.
“It’s an honor to sign, and I really appreciate all the support from the school. It’s nice to give back,” Haithcock said. “I’m really excited to play in college.”
Stratford football head Coach Mark Farriba had nothing but praise for Haithcock.
“I think Berry is the perfect fit for Dave,” Farriba said. “He’ll have to work, but he will earn it.”
In Haithcock’s varsity career, the Eagles had a 33-16 record. He was a 2015 Iron Eagle recipient and was selected all-region.