Ringgold head baseball coach Drew Walker says Sam Mills is one of the most consistent athletes in the Tiger program.
And because of that consistency, on and off the field, Mills will get the opportunity to play in college as the senior catcher recently signed papers with the Stormy Petrels of NCAA Division III Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
"As a player, he's the kind of guy you want as a coach," Walker explained. "He's just as consistent as he can be and that goes along with the way he approaches the off-the-field stuff, like the classroom, the weight room and the locker room.
"He's also consistent for his teammates. He keeps everyone up and he's one of the best teammates we've had in this program since I got here in 2014. All of our guys rely on him and his attitude sets the tone."
"It's a dream come true," Mills said of making his college decision. "You dream of this as a kid. You work toward it and it's your goal. I have to thank my coaches and my family, especially my parents, for everything they've done for me to this point, and to my teammates for being there for me."
Mills is expected to be a key player for the Blue-and-Gold this upcoming spring. While the Tigers got in just 13 games (7-6) in 2020 before the season was shut down and eventually cancelled, he batted .313 with six doubles and three homers as a sophomore in 2019. He also recorded 22 RBIs and was named to the All-Region team.
"He's a guy you really love and enjoy coaching because of his consistency, his work ethic and his demeanor every single day," Walker added. "All of that stuff also brings out a lot of confidence in him from his teammates, too. He also really brings it in the classroom and that's what's getting him to Oglethorpe."
OU plays in the Southern Athletic Association along with the likes of Berry College and Sewanee and, being a D3 program, the school does not give athletic scholarships.
"Academics are big for me and I'm planning on majoring in mechanical engineering," Mills said. "(Oglethorpe) has a new coach this year. He's young, but he brings a lot of energy to the program and he gives a really good outlook for the (future) of the program.
"It's also close to home and there's a chance of seeing some early playing time, so everything just worked out for me."
Mills added that he was recruited to play catcher.
"I hope to bring leadership and just be an all-around good player for them, offensively and defensively," he stated.