Alabama HS Team Preview: Athens Golden Eagles


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2019 Team Previews:

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High School: Athens

2018 Record: 26-11

Head Coach: Chuck Smith

AHSAA Classification: 6A

AHSAA Area: 16

2018 Area Finish: 1st

2018 Playoff Run: Lost in 1st round


RETURNING STARTERS:

Lars Stanford ‘19 LHP

Jack Garvin ‘19 CF/LHP

Tyde Robinson ‘19 SS

Slaton Black ‘19 RHP

Bailey Odell ‘19 3B

Dylan Johnston ‘20 C/RHP


UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH:

Parker Willoughby ‘20 OF/LHP

Tyler Gainer ‘20 RHP

Josh Simmons ‘20 C

Adam Teaven ‘21 RHP/C

Heath Carden ‘21 SS/OF

Tucker Stockman ‘22 C


TEAM STRENGTHS:

Pitching depth

Should be solid on defense

Will be aggressive on the bases


OUTLOOK:

The Athens Golden Eagles look to replicate their 2018 area championship again this season as they welcome back 4 positional starters and 5 pitchers that logged innings last season. They will be competing against Muscle Shoals and Columbia in 6A Area 16. The Golden Eagles will rely on solid pitching and defense and will look to create scoring opportunities with their team speed. Coach Chuck Smith will be looking for more offensive production and the ability to hit with more power from his hitters.  Senior 3B Bailey Odell should be one of those hitters to address the power need after hitting 3 HR’s in 2018 and should hit in the middle of the order in 2019. Junior Parker Willoughby (OF/LHP) should be another middle of the order hitting and will also be counted on on the mound this season. He has a nice offensive approach from the left side and is also a very aggressive player. 2020 grad Dylan Johnston (C) is a very solid defensive catcher with nice receiving skills and pop times in the 1.9’s and should have a breakout season on offense. 2019 Jack Garvin returns in a dual role (OF/LHP) and is looking to have a solid senior campaign as he has started for the last 3 years. 2019 SS Tyde Robinson also returns with 3 years of starting experience under his belt. He is a very solid defender and has a solid approach at the plate. 2020 C Josh Simmons has solid actions behind the plate and really competes on the field. He looks to contribute offensively as well. 2021 Adam Teaven (RHP/C) is a physical presence on the mound and behind the plate. He has a fastball in the low 80’s and nice feel for his breaking ball. Heath Carden (SS/OF) is another 2021 grad that is very versatile and can help the Golden Eagles in a few different ways. He is also a 3 sport athlete. A new face, 2022 C Tucker Stockman is a physical C that has some juice in the barrel from the right side. In addition to the pitchers previously mentioned, the Golden Eagles have 3 others arms they will depend on heavily. 2019 Lars Stanford is a tall LHP that has been a key reliever that last 3 years but will look to take on a greater role this year. Another senior, RHP Slaton Black, was also a key reliever in 2018 that will be asked to take on a greater role as well. Black saw a significant increase in velocity from his sophomore to junior season and is also coming off of a big season on the football field. 2020 RHP Tyler Gainer has a tall, slender build and really knows how to pitch. Coach Smith is looking for increased velocity from him this season. The pieces are in place for another area championship for the Golden Eagles in 2019.