Power 25 HS Preview: #4 Houston County

PBR Georgia Staff
Hudson Graham

The 2023 Georgia high school baseball season is less than a month away. With the season getting pushed up one week the coaches and players have an extra week to prepare for opening day. Will it be sunny and 75? Or below freezing for opening day? The Georgia weather is unpredictable, just like trying to predict who will come out on top of each classification. The talent in the State of Georgia continues to be one of the best in the country. Some regions have a fresh new look, and some region foes will continue to battle for that top spot to earn the best road to the state championship.

We will begin to preview our Power 25 rankings each day until the season begins. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each GHSA classification as well as a Power 25. Be sure to follow PBR Georgia on twitter for live action each week, as our staff travels throughout the state to cover baseball in the great state of Georgia.

High School Name: Houston County

Coach’s Name: Matt Hopkins

Classification: 6A

2022 Record: 28-6

Region: 1-6A

No. of Returning Starters: 10

Team Strengths: Depth

Top Returning Players:

Top 2024 Prospects:

Top 2025 and 2026 Prospects

Team Outlook
Houston County has been a staple name in the GHSA playoffs the last few years. This 2023 squad is one of the deepest and talented teams in the state. The heavily relied on Juniors in 2022 are now highly experienced Seniors and are itching to get back to the playoffs for unfinished business. The list of prospects is seemingly endless for the Bears, but the headline name is PBR Player of the Year, Drew Burress. The Georgia Tech commit is pound for pound one of the strongest bats in the country. He could put up video game numbers in 2023. The intangibles and personality makes Burress one of the biggest characters in the high school baseball atmosphere.  Mercer commit and futures games alumni, Andrew Dunford will be the ace on the mound this year. The XL framed righty will overpower hitters with his low 90’s fastball. We could see him creep into the mid 90’s at some point this spring. Dunford is a competitor and will give Houston County a chance to win every outing.

Drew Burress OF / 3B / Houston County, GA / 2023



Andrew Dunford RHP / RHP / Houston County, GA / 2023



After the Bears run out Dunford they will turn to lefty Georgia commit Ryker Chavis. Chavis will be in the mid-upper 80’s with a power breaking ball that will overwhelm most hitters in the state. Western Carolina commit Elijah Smith and Mercer commit Eli Stephens will be key pieces for the line up to click. Stephens was a part of the 2022 Future Games team and impressed with one of the smoothest left handed swings at the event. You are not going to find anyone much better than Stephens defensively.

Elijah Smith OF / SS / Houston County , GA / 2023



Eli Stephens C / 1B / Houston County, GA / 2024



He will have a cast of Juniors to manage on the mound including Carson Small, Brooks Willis, Landon Tankersly and Camden Cunningham. If these f4 guys can step up and produce alongside Dunford and Chavis the Bears will be very tough to beat. Willis is an intriguing prospect that has made some huge strides over the last year. Houston County will face off against Lowndes for one of the biggest matchups to date. 

Carson Small LHP / 1B / Houston County, GA / 2024



Brooks Willis RHP / 1B / Houston County, GA / 2024