From the time Ardmore pitcher Cole Cheatham took his official visit to Mississippi State University, he knew that was the place where he wanted to continue his baseball career.
Wednesday afternoon, Cheatham was able to make that wish come true, as he signed a letter of intent to accept a scholarship to play for the Bulldogs.
“It’s a lifelong dream, and this is my dream school since I started playing baseball,” Cheatham said at a signing ceremony at the high school. “I got offered by Mississippi State in July, and I accepted it as soon as I could.”
Cheatham, who chose Mississippi State over offers from Alabama and Georgia State, among others, said the relationship he built with Mississippi State pitching coach Scott Foxhall, the fan support for the Bulldogs baseball program and a new state-of-the-art stadium that opened two years ago were reasons for his decision.
“It’s one of the top programs in the country and they’ll be able to develop me the best for the next level,” Cheatham said. “Why wouldn’t you want to play there? There’s nothing like having a crowd of thousands of people cheering you on when you walk out to the mound.”
Ardmore baseball coach Andrew Smith said he expects Cheatham to perform well at the collegiate level.
“I’m excited for him to have this opportunity,” Smith said. “He’s an extremely hard worker and a really talented athlete and pitcher. He’s going to go there and develop even more. I’m excited to see where he goes from there.”
Whatever Cheatham does, he can count on plenty of support from the Ardmore community, Smith said.
“Everybody is excited for him, to see where he goes,” he said. “Everybody will be behind him and keeping up with him. That will be the fun part for everybody after he leaves (Ardmore).”
Cheatham thanked his friends and family for their support and their help in allowing him to achieve his dream of playing baseball in the Southeastern Conference.
“I couldn’t have done it without them, without all their support throughout the years,” Cheatham said. “With me moving away from some of them and they still support me everyday, I just thank all the support everyone has given me.”