AL HS Team Preview: Arab Knights


PBR Alabama Staff

High School: Arab Knights


2019 Record: 20-11

Head Coach: Chad Hudson

AHSAA Classification: 5A

AHSAA Area: Area 15

2019 Area Finish:  2nd

2019 Playoff Run: lost in 1st round


RETURNING STARTERS: 

‘20 RHP/3B Will Hudson

‘20 RHP/RF John Michael Boles

‘20 CF Caleb Hetler

‘20 OF Matt Odell

‘20 1B Jon Shepard

‘20 C Taylor Ferguson

‘21 RHP Tyler Benson

‘21 INF Landon Law

‘21 3B/SS Sam Jackson

‘21 RHP Gavin McBride


UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: 

‘22 SS/2B/RHP Hayden Turner

‘23 3B/RHP Dakota NeSmith

‘23 RHP/OF Brody McCain

‘23 C Weslee Staton


TEAM STRENGTHS: 

Experience

Leadership

Commitment level

Pitching and positional depth


OUTLOOK:

The Knights have a lot coming back in 2020 from a team that won 20 games and got beat in 3 games in the 1st round of the AHSAA playoffs in 2019. During the off-season the team has worked on being tougher and will be looking for some guys to add some depth to a couple of positions. Leading the way for Arab once again is senior RHP/3B UNA signee Will Hudson. In 2019 he garnered 1st team All State honors after hitting .467 with 5 HR’s and 35 RBI’s while also posting a 7-1 record on the mound with a save. ‘20 RHP/RF John Michael Boles has been a mainstay on the mound since his freshman year and emerged as a middle of the order hitter a season ago, leading the team with 42 RBI’s. For his career, Boles has 14 wins on the mound. ‘20 CF Caleb Hetler returns to the top of the order after having an on base percentage of .472 in 2019 while also patrolling center field. Senior OF Matt Odell returns this year after missing last season due to injury. As a sophomore he hit 5 HR’s. Senior 1B Jon Shepard is very solid defensively and has really progressed offensively. Another senior, C Taylor Ferguson has split time behind the plate in the past but will be the Knights’ everyday catcher this year. There are some strong ‘21 grads that should contribute this season. RHP Tyler Benson has really improved on the mound and can command three pitches and will be used in some big games this year. INF Landon Law returns this year after starting 30 games a year ago, mainly at 2B. 3B/SS Sam Jackson also returns to the lineup after starting as a sophomore in 2019 while RHP Gavin McBride has a live arm and has been very effective when he is in the zone consistently. Sophomore SS Hayden Turner also returns after starting last year as a freshman on the infield and will also be used in relief on the mound. Three freshman could also play significant roles in 2020 in 3B/RHP Dakota NeSmith, RHP/OF Brody McCain and C Weslee Staton. The Knights appear to be a serious contender in the north in 5A. 

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