Mitcham to continue academic, athletic career

Piedmont Academy senior Austin Mitcham's football career is not over yet.

Mitcham, an Oxford resident, will play for Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss., a program that competes at the NAIA level. A ceremony was held recently at Piedmont for Mitcham, his family, coaches, teammates and fellow students.

During his senior season, Mitcham helped lead the Cougars to the state playoffs and was named All-Region, Best Defensive Back (top player among linebackers and defensive backs), Honorable Mention All-State and team captain.

"This is great fit for Austin," Piedmont football coach Rhett Farmer said. "He's an athletic linebacker. He should be able to bulk up from being in their weight program. It's a great chance for him to get part of his college education paid for."

Farmer said Mitcham should benefit from the smaller atmosphere at Belhaven.

"I know he liked the fact it was a close-knit community," the coach said. "His parents also like the fact it's a small school."

Describing the Cougar standout as "someone who is what Piedmont football is all about," Farmer said the program will miss Mitcham, as he "is a great person who was the leader of our team."

"He's well-rounded, competitive and a person of faith," Farmer said. "We are very proud of him. We wish him well."