Prep Baseball Report

Metro Atlanta High School All-Star Ceremony

Jack Milani

The Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club recently hosted its annual Metro Atlanta High School All-Star Ceremony. At the ceremony, 18 of Georgia’s finest were honored. Within the 18, one player would win the Player of the Year award. Also, there would be a Coach of the Year award as well as the Pete Van Wieren Most Outstanding High School Baseball Program of the Year award.

The 18 honorees included the following:

  • Will Banfield (Brookwood) -Senior

  • Luke Bartnicki (Walton) - Senior

  • Caleb Bartolero (Woodstock) - Senior

  • Robert Bennett (Parkview) - Senior

  • Joseph Brandon (Loganville) - Senior

  • Clark Dearman (Blessed Trinity) - Senior

  • Payton Eeles (Allatoona) - Senior

  • Tres Gonzalez (Mt. Vernon Presbyterian) - Junior

  • Parks Harber (Westminster) - Sophomore

  • Scotty LeSieur (Pope) - Senior

  • Kyle Martin (North Forsyth) - Senior

  • Santiago Montiel (Alpharetta) - Senior

  • Ben O’Meara (Lovett) - Senior

  • Graham Pauley (Milton) - Junior

  • Davis Sharpe (Mill Creek) - Senior

  • Landon Sims (South Forsyth) - Junior

  • Carson Taylor (Greater Atlanta Christian) - Senior

  • Ga’von Wray (Stephenson) - Junior

Each player was called to the front of the room, where they had their stats read and were given a photo opportunity with Braves General Manager, Alex Anthopoulos. Of the group, thirteen were seniors, four were juniors, and one was a sophomore. A few of the seniors, including Luke Bartnicki, a left-handed pitcher from Walton, had attended the event multiple times. Also in the group of seniors was Will Banfield, a catcher from Brookwood High School. Banfield is regarded as one of the best high school catching prospects in the country. To prove it, Banfield won the Player of the Year Award later that night, following the likes of Drew Waters. Waters graduated from Etowah High School in 2017, was drafted with the 41st overall pick by the Atlanta Braves, and is currently hitting over .300 in the Braves minor league system. In short, winning the Player of the Year Award is quite an honor, and brings the task of filling some big shoes.

The next award presented at the ceremony was the Coach of the Year Award. This year’s recipient was Coach Chad Laney from Westminster High School, who lead his team to a 25-13 record and an appearance in the GHSA 3A State Championship series. One of his best players from the previous season, Parks Harber, was the only sophomore selected to the ceremony this year. Harber is a 6-foot-3 infielder committed to play baseball at the University of Georgia.

The last award presented at the ceremony was the Pete Van Wieren Most Outstanding High School Baseball Program of the Year award. This year’s recipient of the award was the Red Devils of Loganville High School. Loganville, which is led by head coach Jeff Segars, finished the season with a final record of 35-6. Not only was their record phenomenal, but they were able to close their season with a win, capturing the 5A State Championship over Buford.