Prep Baseball Report

Alabama HS Team Preview: Athens Golden Eagles

Austin Sharp
Alabama Scouting Director

The 2024 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 rankings 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 ranks in each AHSAA classification, as well updating our Power 25 overall rankings. One thing, especially, you don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state, as well as the recaps and previews of the big games we’re covering.

*Please note the information has been gathered from head coaches across the state, based on their replies to the questionnaire we distributed over this offseason.

High School: Athens Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Chuck Smith
Classification: AHSAA Class 6A
Area Number: Class 6A, Area 15
2023 Record (Finish): 22-14 (Eliminated in Sweet Sixteen)
No. of Returning Positional Starters: 7
No. of Returning Pitchers: 7
Team Strengths: Returning Experience



RHP/OF Riley Miller (3/17/23)


Class of 2025

RHP/OF Jaylen Malone (1/7/23)


  • RHP Connor Stiles (2026)
  • C Chase Taylor (2026)


Going into 2024, the Athens Golden Eagles have to be excited about their club this spring with features seven positional starters and seven pitchers returning for another season. Coming off a strong season last year which featured 22 wins and an appearance in the Sweet 16 in Class 6A, the Golden Eagles will look to continue their momentum with some familiar faces back on this year's roster.

After starting off the season 0-3 in 2023, the Golden Eagles really started playing their best baseball during the middle part of the regular season and featured notable wins over teams like Florence, Huntsville, Russellville, Corner, Bob Jones, Hoover, and others. After sweeping their area with ease, Athens hosted the 1st round of the playoffs and swept Parker to advance. They were, however, eliminated by Cullman, who reached the Final Four, in the 2nd of round of the playoffs the week after by scores of 3-0 and 7-3 to end their season. Back with a taste of deep playoff baseball, the Golden Eagles are sure to be motivated to build off of last season's success. RHP/OF Riley Miller (Alabama-Birmingham, 2024) and RHP/INF Austin Uptain (Snead State CC, 2024) are a pair of hard-throwing senior right-handers that should anchor the top of their pitching staff this spring, while RHP/INF Grayson Hays (2024) is another senior that is expected to throw meaningful innings once again this spring. SS Jack Elliott (2024) is a retunring multi-year starter at the shortstop position, and INF/RHP Walker Fleming (2025) and 1B/RHP Hudson Marks (2026) also bring back valuable contributions from a season ago. RHP/OF Jaylen Malone (2025) has made some noticable strides since last spring, and should also play a valuable role both at the plate and on the mound. RHP Connor Stiles (2026) is an underclassmen who possesses a live arm on the mound, while C Chase Taylor (2026) is another sophomore that is expected to compete for playing time.

The Golden Eagles seemed to take a step forward during last year's season, reaching the Sweet 16 in a deep Class 6A, and once again look strong on paper for the upcoming season. They'll compete in Area 15 against Columbia and Mae Jemison for a berth in the playoffs at the end of the regular season. Expect the Golden Eagles to once again be a strong contender in Class 6A in 2024.

Find more information on the 2024 Athens High School program below:

+ Follow them on X: @AHSBaseball_1
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Alabama, 2024 HS Team Previews


+ Prep Baseball Alabama on X
+ Prep Baseball Alabama on Instagram
+ Prep Baseball Alabama on Facebook


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