AL HS Team Preview: Buckhorn Bucks

PBR Alabama Staff

The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in the Jacksonville/Oxford/Montgomery area at the AISA or AHSAA state championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Alabama. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing our scheduled podcasts and releasing our preseason Top 10 in each AHSAA classification. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each AHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. One thing that you especially don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state as well as recaps and previews of big games across the state.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

High School Name: Buckhorn Bucks

Coach’s Name: Jeff Wood 

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

2022 Record: 27-13

Area Number: Class 6A, Area 16 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Experienced Arms, Solid Defensively 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2024 Prospects:

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Buckhorn Bucks will be looking to have the same type of success they experienced last season, where they finished as the runner-up in their area and advanced to the Elite 8 in the Class 6A playoffs. This spring, they will need to replace some production at the plate, but have some key pitchers returning to the fold in 2023.

The Bucks reached the 20-win mark in 2023, amassing an impressive 27-13 record with some quality wins in the regular season over Bob Jones, James Clemens, Sparkman, Grissom, Cullman, and some others on their schedule. They finished as the runner-up in their area to Hazel Green and would hit the road in their 1st round matchup. Sweeping past Jasper and Pell City in their 1st and 2nd round matchups, the Bucks were dealt the tough task of facing No. 1 Hartselle in the Elite 8, and would go on to lose that series to the eventual Class 6A State Champs in two games to close their season at 27-13. Using two positional starters and three pitchers that return from last year's team, they'll need to find some younger players to step into bigger roles but seem to have the talent to do so. RHP/INF Chase Ambrose (Southeastern Louisiana signee, 2023) is arguably their biggest piece coming back, as he should anchor their pitching rotation and be one of their offensive leaders in their lineup. After missing most of last year's season on the mound due to injury, Ambrose looks to be back at full-strength and looks poised for a strong senior campaign.

RHP Chase Ambrose (7/26/22)

One player who really came on for the Bucks down the stretch was 1B/LHP Brian Henson (2023), who should once again play a two-way role this spring. Henson is a strong left-hander hitter with power to all field and also is a quality southpaw on the mound with a fastball that can get into the mid-80's. He should be a run-producing force in the middle of the order this spring in addition to a key arm in the rotation.

1B Brian Henson (6/21/22)

The Bucks have a few more upperclassmen that have worked hard in the offseason and are expecting to see their roles expand this spring. RHP/INF Gunner Dodd (2024) is a junior that really hit his stride for the Bucks late in the season last year, and is looking to help the lead the charge once again. A few more players to watch for will be MIF/RHP Jonathan Preston (2024), OF Hayden Hutchins (2024), and LHP/OF Zach Bradford (2024). INF/RHP Josh Henson (2025) is one of the few underclassmen prospects that has a chance to make a big impact for the Bucks this spring. Henson, a Top-40 prospect in the sophomore class, had a strong summer and has continued to work hard into the offseason.

SS Josh Henson (7/12/22)

The Bucks will stay in Area 16 in 2023, which is a three-team area that includes Hazel Green and Lee-Huntsville. They will compete with both of these teams and look to clinch a berth once again in the Class 6A playoffs. Buckhorn should feature a few new faces this spring, as they lost a solid amount of seniors from last year's group, but all signs point to the Bucks have another strong season. Class 6A will once again be deep and filled with quality teams, but expect the Bucks to be in the mix once the end of the season comes around in 2023.


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