Alabama High School Team Preview: Pell City Panthers



2019 Team Previews:


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High School: Pell City

2018 Record: 16-18

Head Coach: Andrew Tarver

AHSAA Classification: 6A

AHSAA Area: 12

2018 Area Finish: 2nd

2018 Playoff Run: Lost in 2nd round


RETURNING STARTERS:

Noah Hathorn ‘19 LHP/OF/1B 

Canaan Garrett ‘19 IF    

Collier Slovensky ‘19 C

Bailey Watkins ‘19 IF

Drew Wilson ‘20 RHP

Jackson Sweatt ‘21 C/RHP/IF


UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH:

Clayton Hildebrant ‘20 OF

Mitchell Gossett ‘20 RHP/OF

Blake Miller ‘20 1B

Kodi Smith ‘20 RHP


TEAM STRENGTHS:

Pitching

Defensive ability

Experienced hitters returning


OUTLOOK:

The Panthers appear ready for a big 2019 season as they return a strong nucleus of position players and pitchers from a 2018 area runner up team that advanced to the 2nd round of the state playoffs. The pieces are in place for a big 2019 and experience is on the Panthers side in all areas. Coach Andrew Tarver likes the pitching depth returning and feels like he can put together a solid lineup of hitters one through nine. The Panthers have a nice 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation. 2019 Noah Hathorn is a LHP that returns after a successful 2018 season. Hathorn is a Snead State CC signee and will also be counted on in the outfield as well. 2020 RHP Drew Wilson returns as well. The 6’3 junior has a mid 80’s fastball and shows big time pitchability as he is currently ranked the #61 player in the 2020 state class. Three other seniors will also be counted on heavily in Canaan Garretta 5’11 infielder; catcher Collier Slovensky and infielder Bailey Watkins, a Millspas College signee. All three will be counted on in the field and to provide solid leadership. Talented 2021 grad Jackson Sweatt (C/RHP/IF) returns from a solid campaign in 2018 and will be looked on to contribute even more this year.  Sweatt is ultra athletic and is currently ranked #17 in the state 2021 class. A talented core of juniors (along with Wilson) will also bolster the Panthers lineup in 2019. Junior Clayton Hildebrant is a 6’3 205 lb. outfielder that can really run and has some juice at the plate. Mitchell Gossett (2020, RHP/OF) is an athletic player that can help on the mound and in the outfield while junior Blake Miller will be counted on at 1B.  2020 Kodi Smith is a 6’2 RHP that features a fastball in the mid 80’s and will log some important innings for the Panthers. Pell City will be competing against Clay Chalkville and Pinson Valley in 6A Area 12 this season and it will be interesting to watch the Panthers season unfold with the return of many key pieces.