Prep Baseball Report

AL HS Team Preview: Decatur Heritage Christian Academy Eagles

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: Decatur Heritage Christian Academy Eagles

Coach’s Name: Jay Mitchell 

Classification: AHSAA 3A 

2022 Record: 28-11

Area Number: Class 3A, Area 14 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Pitching Depth, Team Speed 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Decatur Heritage Christian Academy Eagles will make the move to Class 3A this spring after reaching the state finals just a season ago in Class 2A. It seems like the Eagles return some key components from last year's roster and have a strong mix of younger players who look ready to fill those needs this spring.

The Eagles enjoyed a historic season in 2022, winning 28 games and defeating some really good teams en route to the Class 2A State Finals. After winning their five-team area with an undefeated record, the Eagles swept through their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round matchups over Cleveland, Section and Westbrook Christian. They were paired with Mars Hill Bible in the Class 2A semifinals which turned out be an excellent series between two quality programs with a spot in the state finals on the line. After dropping Game 1 by score of 16-11, the Eagles answered adversity and won Games 2 and 3 by scores of 12-2 and 3-1 to clinch a spot in the Class 2A State Finals where they would face No. 1 GW Long. The Eagles, however, lost a back-and-forth Game 1 to the Rebels by score of 7-6 and dropped Game 2 by score of 8-1 to close their season as the Class 2A runner-up. There were still many bright spots during the 2022 season, but the Eagles will look to turn the page and put their focus on making it back to Jacksonville in a competitive Class 3A at the end of 2023 season. INF Bo Solley (2023) returns to the lineup and is expecting another strong season hitting in the middle of the order. Solley is a quality uncommitted senior that plays the game hard and affects the game in a variety of ways with his athletic skill set.

INF Bo Solley (1/7/23)

One returning underclassmen that will looking to build off of a strong freshman campaign will be RHP/OF Bryant Sparkman (2025). Sparkman, a Top-15 prospect in the sophomore class in AL, has shown the ability to run his fastball up to 88 mph fastball to go along with quality secondary offerings. He will be one of their top pitchers in the rotation this spring and is an intriguing prospect to follow throughout the 2023 season.

RHP Bryant Sparkman (5/13/22)

Another sophomore returning with loads of experience after a strong freshman campaign is INF/RHP Paxton Tarver (2025). The right-hander is a gifted athlete that can play multiple positions on the field, while also serving as one of their top pitchers in the rotation, as well. Tarver has a high-waisted 6-foot-1, 155-pound frame that will only continue to get stronger as he improves and develops as a prospect.

INF Paxton Tarver (5/19/22)

RHP/INF Aiden Waldrep (2023) is another piece big piece returning for the Eagles after he pitched in some big games just a season ago. The senior is a strike-thrower on the mound that always gives his team a chance to win each time he toes the rubber. Another senior returner is OF Jasper Miller (2023), who brings some power to the middle of the order. Miller will be asked to be a primary run-producer this spring while also showing some above average speed on the base paths. The Eagles also have a few more underclassmen that are sure to make an impact on this year's team in addition to these returners mentioned above. RHP Brady Wilson (2025) is one of those young players who is expected to see some significant time on the mound after missing most of last year due to injury. The sophomore stands 6-foot-6, 200-pounds and possesses a strong fastball on the mound, and is expecting a breakout campaign in 2023. OF/RHP Bo Mitchell (2025) is another sophomore that will provide an immediate boost to the Eagles both at the plate and on the mound. Mitchell is expected to hit in the middle of the order with plenty of speed and power from the right side of the plate, and also has a strong arm on the mound. Rounding it out, C Ford Sparkman (2026) brings a strong arm and quality left-handed bat to the Eagles lineup. The freshman has a some impressive power for his age and will be asked for some offensive output this spring.

Decatur Heritage Christian Academy once again looks to be a strong threat in their classification in 2023. They have plenty of depth on their pitching staff and seem to be an athletic team this spring, but will also rely on some younger players to step into larger roles at the varsity level. They'll be placed in a three-team area with Danville and Vinemont. Class 3A once again looks to be strong this spring, but don't be surprised if the Eagles are in the mix once the end of the season rolls around in 2023.


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