Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 13 Harris County

Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2021 season will commence on Feb. 15. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 18, meaning it's time for the PBR Georgia staff to break down the high school baseball scene in the state in the countdown to the first pitch thrown in 2021.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Harris County
Preseason Rank:
2020 Record:
Region: 2-5A
GHSA Classification: 5A
Head Coach: Steve Westmoreland
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 7

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Cole Stanford GA Harris County 2020 C Gordon State JC 
Jake Jordan GA Harris County 2020 RHP Southern Union JC
Ryan O'Steen GA Harris County 2020 2B  
Kaden Killngsworth GA Harris County 2020 OF  
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Cole Mathis GA Harris County 2021 3B/RHP College of Charleston
Nick Morgan GA Harris County 2021 OF/RHP West Georgia
Ashton Shackelford GA Harris County 2021 OF/RHP LaGrange College
Cayden Frost GA Harris County 2021 OF/LHP  
Josh Davis GA Harris County 2021 INF/DH  
Jackson Schorr GA Harris County 2022 SS  
Tanner Cotton GA Harris County 2022 RHP  
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Zach Johnpeer GA Harris County 2022 1B
Brycen Spates GA Harris County 2023 2B  
Fisher Cantrell GA Harris County 2024 RHP  
COVID-19. Coach Westmoreland believes the biggest factor that could effect this season is whether or not his team is at full strength for, if not all, then the majority of the season. Harris County has been in person learning for the entire 2020-21 school year. They have already experienced a large number of players who have had to quarantine due to close contact. So the worry of losing a players for days to weeks at a time is at the forefront of their minds. 

The Tigers are going to be a tough team to score all year with a pitching staff that could potentially go 10 players deep. And this is all considering that Harris County will be without two-year starting pitcher RHP Tanner Cotton (2022), who suffered a season ending injury. Nevertheless, the rotation will be headlined by a quartet of experienced seniors: College of Charleston commit 3B/RHP Cole Mathis (2021), West Georgia commit OF/RHP Nick Morgan (2021), LaGrange commit OF/RHP Ashton Shackelford (2021), and OF/LHP Cayden Frost (2021).

Mathis will be the marquee arm of the staff and for good reason. A physical, wide, 6-foot-2, 205-pounds with a well-developed lower half, Mathis is a powerful force on the place. We have seen him pound the zone with a heavy fastball that can reach velocities in the mid-90s. He also can offer up a solid 11/5 breaking ball. 
Cole Mathis

The rest of the staff is comprised of highly competitive arms that will give Harris County a chance in every game.

One new arm to keep an eye on is freshman RHP Fisher Cantrell. Cantrell is a long, lean, lanky 6-foot-4, 175-pounds and has the makings of one of the next big arms in the state. Despite only being a freshman, Cantrell has the stuff to make an immediate impact. He can work his fastball in the low-80s and offer up a big breaking 12/6 curveball.
Fisher Cantrell

Coach Westmoreland is confident that his defense is going to get the job done behind his promising pitching staff. When Mathis is not pitching, he man the hot corner, and do it at a high level. Much like Mathis, when Frost is not pitching, he will be ranging around the outfield covering center field. SS Jackson Schorr (2022) is back and gives the Tigers a quality middle infielder. 

The Tigers are going to pitch and defend, but will they be able to score enough runs? They will need some players to step in and provide some extra offensive firepower. Mathis is power threat at all times, but he can't do it alone. 2B Brycen Spates (2023) will compete for a starting job and 1B Zach Johnpeer (2022) could bring some aid off the bench.

The 2021 season looks bright for Harris County with Cole Mathis leading the charge. This team will be tested in one of the toughest regions in the state. They will have to face Starr's Mill, Whitewater, Northside-Columbus, Northgate, and McIntosh, all in region. If the Tigers can get through that grueling schedule and make the playoffs. This will be one of the toughest matchups in the 5A. 

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

Find more information on the 2021 Tigers below:

Full Schedule
Team Website
Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown