2019 5A High School Preview

PBR Alabama Staff

5A Preview

As we are only a few weeks away from the start of the 2019 high school season, we will now move onto Class 5A for a brief preview of the top teams and their respective key returners.

St. Paul’s

The Saints return in 2019 with high aspirations of getting to Montgomery. After reaching the Final Four last year, they were defeated by Faith Academy, who would go on to win the 5A State Championship. They will have to replace 2B/SS Jarrett Eaton (Auburn) and RHP Herndon Akridge (South Alabama), who both signed to play at the D1 level. The Saints do have 1B Jake Holifield (Southern Miss commit) coming back for his senior year. In 2018, Holifield put up gaudy numbers, hitting .557 with 25 2B’s and 67 RBI’s. These numbers were good enough to win the 2018 Class 5A Hitter of the Year. In the most recent 2019 Player Rankings, Holifield is #27 on the list. Look for him to make a jump if his senior year is anything like his junior year. St. Paul’s looks to be very strong in 2019.

Briarwood Christian

The Lions had a very successful regular season under head coach Steve Renfroe in 2018, going 24-7 before being put out in the 2nd round by Calera in Game 3. Briarwood Christian will be in Area 8 of Class 5A with John Carroll Catholic, Ramsay and Woodlawn. ’21 1B/RHP Wesley Helms is a key returner for the Lions. Helms recently gave his verbal to Auburn back in September. He is currently ranked as the #11 player in the ’21 Player Rankings. After winning their area the past 2 seasons and making the playoffs 8 out of the last 10 years, the Lions are poised for another successful season.

UMS Wright

This year, UMS Wright will do battle in Class 5A after being reclassified from Class 4A. They will be matched up in a tough area, which includes St. Paul’s, Vigor, Satsuma and LeFLore. You can always count the Bulldogs to be in the thick of it in May, as they have been in the playoffs every year for the past 10 seasons. They will rely heavily on some juniors and seniors this year. ’20 Richard Brinson was selected to the 1st Team of the 4A All-State Team in 2018. Two more returners for the Bulldogs that were selected on the All-State team is ’19 2B Skipper Snypes (2nd Team) and ’20 3B John Rice (Honorable Mention). After being reclassified, UMS Wright is ready to show that they belong in Class 5A.


When you talk about Class 5A baseball in the state of Alabama, you have to mention the Russellville Golden Tigers. They have been dominant over the past 4 years, making it to Montgomery for the Finals every season since 2015. From 2015-2017, the Golden Tigers went on a historic run, winning the Class 5A State Championship in all 3 of those years. Head coach Chris Heaps is very optimistic about the team he has in 2019. He will have to replace UTL/RHP Landon Ezzell (UAH), SS/RHP Rudy Fernandez (Motlow State CC) and 3B Houston Kitterman (West Alabama). Heaps and Co. should have no trouble replacing this talent, as they always find a way to be competitive every year.

Mortimer Jordan

The Blue Devils enjoyed a very successful 2018 campaign, and look to build off of it in 2019. They made it all the way to the Final Four last year before being defeated Russellville. ’19 SS Garek Hall will be one of the leaders for this team. In 2018, Hall made the 2nd team on the Class 5A All-State Team. Head coach Michael Carnes enters his 5th season at the helm for the Blue Devils. Carnes will rely on Hall and others to make another deep run in the playoffs in 2019. They will do battle in Area 11 with Jasper, Corner, Hayden and Dora. Could this be the year that Mortimer Jordan wins their 1st State Championship?


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