Prep Baseball Report

AL HS Team Preview: Etowah Blue Devils

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: Etowah Blue Devils 

Coach’s Name: Blake Bone 

Classification: AHSAA 4A 

2022 Record: 29-14

Area Number: Class 4A, Area 10 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Speed, Pitching, Defense 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Top 2024 Prospects:

  • INF/RHP Slade St. Clair (2024)
  • OF Bodie Bennett (2024)
  • MIF Luke Filetti (2024) 

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

  • INF/RHP Damon Devine (2025)
  • OF/RHP Conner Dingler (2025)
  • INF/RHP Bennett Reaves (2025)
  • OF Cash Hayes (2025)
  • SS Baylor Morrison (2027)

Team Outlook

The Etowah Blue Devils should once again be amongst the top teams in Class 4A this spring after reaching the state finals in the classification a year ago. Most of the team returns, and there's plenty of motivation and confidence for the Blue Devils heading into the 2023 season.

The Blue Devils seemed to start playing their best baseball down the stretch and into the playoffs in 2022. During that season, they recorded over 20 wins with some of those coming against quality programs like Alexandria, Springville, Southside, Moody, and others amongst their regular season schedule. They did, however, finish as the runner-up in their area behind Oneonta and traveled to Central-Florence in their 1st round playoff matchup. They ended up sweeping the Wildcats by scores of 10-0 and 10-0 to advance to the next round. After dropping Game 1 in their Sweet 16 matchup against Westminster Christian by score of 2-0, the Blue Devils responded to adversity and took Games 2 and 3 by scores of 10-1 and 4-3 to punch their ticket to the Elite 8 where they would play Jacksonville. Etowah would go on to sweep Jacksonville in the Elite 8 and Hamilton in the Final 4 to advance to the Class 4A State Finals. Game 1 of that series was one of the best games of the state finals week in Oxford/Jacksonville, as the Blue Devils led No. 1-ranked Mobile Christian for most of the game, but let a small lead slip away in the final innings to drop that contest by score of 9-8. The next day, Mobile Christian's offense proved to be too much, as they won Game 2 by score of 9-3 to win the Class 4A State Championship and end the Blue Devils' season at 29-14. Hopes are high this spring, however, with eight positional starters coming back in addition to six pitchers who saw time on the mound last spring. OF/LHP Caleb Freeman (Snead State CC signee, 2023) will once again be their leader at the plate and on the mound after a strong junior campaign. Freeman is a hard-nosed type player that is a dynamic athlete at the top of the Blue Devils' order.

OF Caleb Freeman (7/26/22)

1B/RHP Trace Thompson (2023) had a big series in the Class 4A State Finals at the plate and looks poised for another strong season offensively hitting in the heart of the order. Thompson is a strong, physical right-hander hitter with power, and has signed a football scholarship to play at The Cumberlands.

1B Trace Thompson (5/18/22)

Returning to the infield, SS/RHP Hunter Humphries (Gadsden State CC signee, 2023) and INF Andrew Pierce (2023) are two more viable options in the Blue Devils' order. Humphries and Pierce both had strong seasons in 2022 as juniors, and will look to build off of that success this spring in their final season of their high school career.

SS Hunter Humphries (5/18/22)

Also bringing back valuable experience to this year's team will be C Briggs Freeman (Snead State CC signee, 2023), INF/RHP Jameson Scissum (2025), and C Braden Boatwright (2023) after being a key piece on last year's team. Freeman will look to provide senior leadership this spring and be a tough out in their lineup offensively, while Scissum is an exciting prospect that played an integral role both at the plate and on the mound last spring as a freshman.

C Briggs Freeman (6/5/21)
RHP/INF Jameson Scissum (5/18/22)

With so many players coming back from last year, the Blue Devils still have some other players that are looking to make an impact at the varsity level and provide depth both at the plate and on the mound. Some of those upperclassmen to watch for will be RHP Colton Peterson (2023), RHP/INF Brant Stringer (Gadsden State CC signee, 2023), OF Thomas Farley (2023), INF/RHP Slade St. Clair (2024), OF Bodie Bennett (2024), and MIF Luke Filetti (2024). All of these juniors and seniors will be looked upon for leadership and to help lead the way at the plate and on the mound. 

Although it seems that Etowah will be led by their heavy upperclassmen roster, the Blue Devils still have some younger talent waiting in the wings for their opportunity. Some of those underclassmen have a chance to fight for playing time in the early part of the season and find a role for this spring. Some of those younger players to watch for are INF/RHP Damon Devine (2025), OF/RHP Conner Dingler (2025), INF/RHP Bennett Reaves (2025), OF Cash Hayes (2025), and SS Baylor Morrison (2027). Morrison, in particular, certainly doesn't play like an eighth-grader and has a chance to be a very high level prospect in the years to come. The Blue Devils should once again be a real contender in Class 4A this spring while playing a tough schedule, including participating in the PBR North AL Showdown. They will compete in Area 14 this spring against North Jackson, Cherokee County, and DAR for a spot in the playoffs. Expect for Etowah to be another strong club heading into the spring of 2023. 


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