Ethan Hailey became the second Rhea County High School (RCHS) Golden Eagle baseball player, and the sixth RCHS student athlete, to sign a college scholarship within a week of each other, as he inked his national letter of intent to play for the Walters State Community College (WSCC) Senators.

The previous RCHS baseball signee was Dawson Lytle, who signed his papers to play for the Bryan College Lions.

Walters State is located in Morristown, Tennessee, and is part of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA).

Hailey’s primary position is pitcher, but he stated Walters State coaching staff has already indicated to him they might rotate him some in the outfield once he arrives on campus next fall. No matter the position he will be playing, the left-handed pitcher said he’s just excited for the opportunity to play for a well-established program with rich baseball history.

“I’m pretty honored to play for [Walters State]. They’re contenders every year for a Junior College World Series, and to be a part of that next year, and the year after, it’s just going to be extremely awesome, and I’m proud to meet the teammates I’ll be with,” said Hailey. “The head coach has been there about eight or nine years, and the whole coaching staff is awesome because they all know their stuff.

For instance, you can go and talk to them for 15 minutes, and I guarantee you can get more information out of them than any other coaches you’ll see around,” continued Hailey regarding the high quality coaching staff at WSCC.

Hailey will initially take a general studies curriculum, but he stated he eventually would like to get into the sports medicine and physical therapy field.

Since Walters State is a 2-year school, and a lot of the players on the Senators’ baseball team move on to a Division I school to further their collegiate careers, Hailey stated he hopes to follow that tradition. He said his goal is to sign with the University of Tennessee, because he’s always loved Tennessee, but he stated if he had a dream school, it would be Vanderbilt.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” said Hailey about beginning a new chapter in life at Walters State. “Now that I kind of get to do my own thing, go and make new friends and build a new life out of this, then, I’m pretty excited to see what can happen. Because, I know I could do great things up there, and I’m hoping to show that.”