By Chris McCarthy/Editor
A pair of Gadsden City High student-athletes will test their academic and athletic capabilities in the Magic City next year.
Seniors Ella Day and David Minton received four-year President Scholarships from Birmingham Southern and will participate in softball and baseball, respectively.
Last season, Day batted .445 with 61 hits, 18 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 57 runs scored and 29 steals.
She finished with an on base percentage of .500, a stolen base percentage of .935 and a fielding percentage of .946.
The 2016 Birmingham-Southern softball team went 37-10, breaking the program record for wins in a single season. BSC went 16-2 in the Southern Athletic Conference and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Day is only the third softball player from Gadsden City High School to compete in softball in college and is the first to go from high school to a four-year college.
“The Gadsden City softball family is very excited for Ella and her opportunity to play at the next level,” said GCHS head softball coach Corbin Holland. “Ella is the perfect example of what you want to see a student achieve in the classroom and an athlete perform on the field. This is testament to her family and their values that are seen in Ella’s everyday life.
“Ella is one of the leaders of this team and is often referred to as the ‘spark’ of each and every game. She is the one everybody looks to when things are going good or bad to see how she reacts, and as you would expect, she does what a great teammate would do. She will pick up a teammate when they make a mistake and then celebrate with them when they make a great play.
“Birmingham Southern is one of the best academic schools in the state along with a great softball program. This will be a perfect fit for Ella as she moves on to this exciting chapter in her life.”
Day extended special thanks to her travel softball teams – Northeast Elite with coach Jamie Courington and Alabama Thunder with coach Mike Perley. She plans to study pre-medicine. Ella’s parents are Shawn and Lisa Day.
Minton’s 2016 statistics include a .266 batting average, eight RBI, a .407 on-base percentage and 41 percent quality at-bats.
This past season, Birmingham-Southern baseball team went 39-13 for the most wins for the program since transitioning to NCAA Division III in 2008, and competed in the NCAA South Regional Tournament. The team went 17-4 in the Southern Athletic Conference.
“We are extremely proud for David and his family,” said GCHS head baseball coach Taylor Talbot. “Anytime that you get to see a student-athlete achieve part of their dream, it’s a great day as a coach and a teacher.
“David is an extremely hard worker both on and off the field and really embodies what being a student-athlete is all about. As a coaching staff, we ask David to do a lot of different things. He hits in multiple places in our lineup and plays multiple positions for us defensively. He never complains; he just works and gives great effort every day. That’s tough to do sometimes when you are playing different positions on any given day.
Minton is the first GCHS baseball player to sign right out of high school to a four-year university.
“Birmingham Southern is a first-rate academic institution with a long standing tradition of having great baseball teams,” Talbot added. Coach Weisberg and his staff are all great people, and they certainly have gotten another great person to add to the Birmingham Southern family in David.”
Minton extended special thanks to his travel baseball coach Michael Jenkins, who has coached David in travel ball since fifth grade and also East Cobb Baseball. He plans to study pre-optometry with a minor in Spanish. David’s parents are Dr. Maury and Amy Minton.