2019 6A High School Preview


PBR Alabama Staff

6A Preview

As we are less than a week away from the start of the 2019 high school season, we will now move onto Class 6A for a brief preview of the top teams and their respective key returners.

Hazel Green

In head coach Frankie Perez’s 1st year at Hazel Green, he led the Trojans to their 1st ever state championship in school history. They bet Helena in 3 games to win the title. In 2019, Perez and Co. return with some very familiar faces from their 2018 team. Leading the way offensively will be ’19 OF Jordan Beck, who signed with Tennessee in late November. Beck is ranked #9 in the most recent ’19 Player Rankings. More notable returners for the Trojans will be ’19 SS Bradley Hulin (Wallace State-Hanceville signee), ’19 RHP Nathan Giles (Wallace State-Hanceville signee), ’19 2B Hunter McGriff (Shelton State signee), ’19 LHP Jackson Minor (Chipola CC signee) and ’19 C/1B Garrett Gustafson (Chattahoochee Valley CC signee). Hazel Green will be loaded once again in 2019 and look to get back to Montgomery for another state title.

Faith Academy

The Rams are eager to compete in Class 6A after being reclassified this year from Class 5A. Faith Academy put together one of the most dominant seasons we have seen in 2018, going 36-3 overall and sweeping every series in the playoffs. The Rams will lose OF Reece Ewing (Pearl River CC) and RHP Gabe Shepard (Southern Miss) to graduation, but definitely have the firepower to replace them. Offensively, they will have ’20 SS John Griffen Bell (Auburn commit), ’21 MIF Michael Hopkinson, ’20 3B Bryant Andrews and ’20 C Peyton Cowart returning. On the mound, the Rams have ’20 RHP Eli Giles (Alabama commit), ’21 RHP Parker Carlson (Auburn commit) and ’21 RHP Drew Druckenmiller leading the way. It should be another very successful season for Faith Academy.

Saraland

The Spartans enjoyed a very successful season in 2018, after winning Area 1 and making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs before getting beat by Russell County in 2 close games. They return a strong core group of players for 2019. Some of those returners are ’19 RHP TJ Kervin (Central Alabama CC commit), ’19 C Michael Milner (West Alabama commit), ’19 OF Mac Boutwell (Coastal Alabama-North CC commit), ’19 RHP Levi Clark (Lurleen B. Wallace CC commit), ’19 LHP Konner Copeland (East Mississippi CC commit) and ’19 RHP Laiten Hudson (Gulf Coast State College commit). As you can probably see by this list, the Spartans will be very experienced and led by their seniors. They will be competing in Area 1 with Faith Academy, B.C. Rain and Mattie T. Blount. Saraland will not sneak up on anybody this year, as they are one of the most experienced and talented teams in Class 6A.

Russell County

The Warriors look to be stout this year after reaching the Elite 8 in 2018. Head coach Tony Rasmus is known for having tough, gritty teams in the past and this year should be no exception. Returning on the mound is ’20 RHP Logan Austin (Auburn commit). Austin is ranked as the #2 player in the ’20 Player Rankings after going 11-1 with 138 K’s in 2018. ’20 1B Jackson Huguley will be one to keep an eye on. The 6’3 225 pounder has a lot of thump in his bat. In October of last year, the junior attended the Deep South Invite at Auburn and was one of the top players at the event. His performance there earned him the #17 spot in the most recent ’20 Player Rankings. Another player for the Russell County ranked in ’20 Player Rankings is ’20 C Austin Embrey. Embrey is an elite defensive catcher with a solid bat. Look for Huguley and Embrey to have monster seasons for the Warriors and carry some of the load for Rasmus and Co. in 2019.

 

Cullman

It seems like whenever you talk about Class 6A in the state of Alabama, you have to mention the Cullman Bearcats. Since the 2011 season, the Bearcats have won their area every year, been to 6 Final Fours and won the 6A State Championship in 2015. Head coach Brent Patterson is always churning out SEC talent on a yearly basis. This year, the Bearcats may not have that SEC-caliber player, but you can always count on Cullman being a very tough opponent. One of their leaders this year will be ’19 2B Cooper Beck after making the 6A All-State 2nd Team in 2018. Another notable returner for the Bearcats will be ’19 OF Peyton Colvard. Both of these players will carry most of the load for Cullman in 2019.

Oxford

Head coach Wes Brooks returns a nice mix of upperclassmen and lowerclassmen in 2019. The Yellow Jackets were knocked out of the playoffs to eventual 6A State Champs Hazel Green in 3 games. Brooks is very excited and optimistic about the group he has coming back this year. Leading the way on the mound will be ’19 RHP Jarin Turner. Turner was a long-time Alabama commit, but backed off that pledge in 2018. He then committed and signed with West Georgia in November. The Yellow Jackets will also rely on some young arms this year, as well. Some of those arms are ’21 RHP Trey Mooney, ’21 RHP Nick Hamlin, ’20 RHP Wesley Sparks and ’20 RHP Jaylan Thompson. Look for all four of these young guns to log some significant innings for Oxford.

Teams to Watch

Helena

Spanish Fort

Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa

 

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