Cavaliers ready for next step

Published 1:39 am Thursday, May 23, 2019


Daily News

For the past four seasons, Braelin Mitchell and Trent Sheppard have been teammates on the Callaway High baseball team.

While the two have played their final high-school games, their time as teammates is just getting started.

Mitchell and Sheppard are both set to attend LaGrange College where they’ll join a baseball program that is thriving under head coach David Kelton.

Mitchell and Sheppard celebrated their decision during a signing ceremony in the Callaway gymnasium this week.

Mitchell, a first baseman, was a three-year starter at Callaway, and he has been one of the anchors in the lineup since day one.

Mitchell had plenty of options when it came time to choose a college home, and he believed LaGrange College was the place for him. Being able to play for Kelton was a major selling point.

“He doesn’t recruit just good ballplayers. He recruits good men,” Mitchell said. “You have to handle business off the ballfield, too, so he makes sure to get good people in there.”

Sheppard, an outfielder who started for three seasons, is appreciative of the opportunity to play in college.

“It’s been a goal of mind since I started playing baseball,” Sheppard said. “I’m very grateful.”

Mitchell and Sheppard helped Callaway enjoy tremendous success over the years.

The past two seasons have been among the best in the history of the program, with the Cavaliers making back-to-back appearances in the state semifinals.

Last week, Callaway pushed Rockmart to a game three before losing a 7-5 heartbreaker after leading 5-2 in the seventh inning.

“It’s been so much fun,” Sheppard said. “The success that we had last year and this year was just crazy. It’s unbelievable how far we made it. It was so much fun.”

Added Mitchell: “It’s amazing through the years, just making memories with friends.”

Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard calls Sheppard “a calming influence. He gets the job done. He really caught fire in the playoffs.”

Mitchell, who had a bunch of clutch hits in the playoffs the past two seasons, had a handful of college offers on the table, and he chose to stay at home.

“Braelin had four or five offers, good offers,” Hubbard said. “But he loved it. He loves the school, everything about it. That’s where he wanted to be. He asked me about it, and I told him to do it. If you feel comfortable, and you feel like they want you, and they did the best job recruiting you, that’s where you should go.”

Kelton is looking forward to getting Mitchell in the program.

“He’s got some serious upside, a lot of raw power, a lot of raw strength,” Kelton said. “We’re excited to get to work with him. His talent is through the roof, and we’re excited to get him here.”

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