Seth Mills’s alma mater pairs the slogan “This is Home” with an “R” logo. He thinks he may grow to feel the same way about his new school, which retains the same first initial.
“In a lot of ways, it’s kinda like Raceland,” the Rams graduate said of Rio Grande. “It’s a small school. It’s kinda where everybody knows everybody. I went there on a visit, and the coach (Brad Warnimont), just from talking to him, it really seemed like the stuff that they did at Rio is similar to what we do at Raceland.
“I just wanted to go somewhere where I would feel more comfortable and in that similar atmosphere.”
Mills is bound for the RedStorm’s baseball program. He lost his senior hardball season at Raceland to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that frustration was compounded by the Rams’ high expectations coming off their winningest season in school history in Mills’s 11th-grade year, but he took a measure of solace that he knew his time in uniform hadn’t ended.
“I am disappointed that we didn’t get to play our last year,” Mills said. “I feel like this year could’ve been the year that we actually took it to the next level, actually did more things with the baseball program, but I know my career’s not over and I’m just happy to take it to the next level and show what I can do.”
Mills batted .416 as a junior, drove in 36 runs, stole 14 bases and hit three triples for the 63rd District Tournament champion Rams. He returned to Raceland’s football program as a senior, having taken some time off from the gridiron, and led the Rams in rushing and was named all-Eastern Kentucky Conference.
Mills’s numbers and accolades didn’t tell the whole story, said Raceland baseball coach Marty Mills — Seth’s father.
“Rony is a team guy who always did his part to make us better,” Marty Mills said, using Seth’s family nickname. “His versatility and work ethic was a benefit to our team as he was called upon each season to serve a different role. He never questioned any move we made, just worked his tail off to fill the need. In my 30-plus years of coaching, I have not had many equal Rony’s combination of determination, abilities and unselfish commitment. He has played a significant role in taking our program to higher level of expectation.”
“Rony” is a shortened version of the “Setharoni” that Mills’s grandfather bestowed upon him as an infant, he said.
Mills is playing summer ball for American Legion Post 76 in Ashland. He turned in the defensive play of the Sixers’ victory against Portsmouth Post 23 on Tuesday night, making an inning-ending, waist-high running basket catch in shallow right field from his second-base position.
“It feels great,” he said. “It’s been so long since the last time I played. It feels great to be back on the field, just doing my thing. It’s really fun.”
Mills’s older brother, Trey, plays baseball at Kentucky Christian and will be a senior next spring. The two small private NAIA universities, located an hour and a half’s drive apart, don’t typically meet on the diamond, said RedStorm sports information director Randy Payton.
Mills plans to major in business at Rio Grande, he said. His Raceland teammate and classmate, Zach Francis, also plans to play for the RedStorm.
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