Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 3 Houston 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.

Team: Houston County
Preseason Rank:
2020 Record:
Region: 1-6A
GHSA Classification: 6A
Head Coach: Matt Hopkins
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 7

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jaden Woods GA Houston County 2020 RHP Georgia
Jacob Profit GA Houston County 2020 SS Reinhardt
Jeremy White GA Houston County 2020 C ABAC
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Coleman Willis GA Houston County 2021 RHP/1B Georgia 
Brodie Chestnutt GA Houston County 2021 RHP/1B Florida State
Treyson Hughes GA Houston County 2021 OF/RHP West Virginia
EJ Lewis GA Houston County 2021 OF Barton College
Trent Ringer GA Houston County 2021 RHP/MIF  
Gage Harrelson GA Houston County 2022 OF/LHP Texas Tech
Andrew Dunford GA Houston County 2023 1B/RHP  
Drew Burress GA Houston County 2023 3B/OF  
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Garrett Hortman GA Houston County 2022 C
Elijah Smith GA Houston County 2023 2B/OF  
Kaden Galason GA Houston County 2022 INF  

Coach Hopkins likes how close his team his and believes this will be their X-Factor. He has a roster full of high profile players in all classes. Getting these guys to come together and buy in to the team first mentality is huge. That is why returning seven starters and arms, including five seniors, has this team playing for each other. They have history together and are comfortable. They had a good shot in 2020 to make a deep run, This group returns motivated to finish the job in 2021.

The expectations are the same every year at Houston County, win county, win region and compete for a state championship. Class 6A is going to be exceptionally tough this season, but given what Coach Hopkins has to work with, the Bears look ready to make a deep run.

It all starts with the pitching staff. Florida State commit RHP Brodie Chestnutt (2021) and Georgia commit RHP Coleman Willis (2021) will headline what is arguably the strongest 1-2 punch on the mound in the state. They also might be the most intimidating duo in the state. Chestnutt and Willis tower on the mound, standing 6-foot-5, 220-pounds and 6-foot-7, 215-pounds, respectively. Both arms will work into the low 90s and command swing and miss secondary pitches. With these two, Houston County has a chance to win any three game series.

Brodie Chestnutt

Coleman Willis

RHP/MIF Trent Ringer (2021), West Virginia commit OF/RHP Treyson Hughes (2021), and Texas Tech commit OF/LHP Gage Harrelson (2022) will also see time on the mound. Ringer is a mid-80s arm who has good feel for a curveball and changeup. He is an effective strike thrower. Hughes and Harrelson are primary outfielder, but they have strong arms that can be utilized on the mound.

One concern Coach Hopkins had was of the development of his younger guys with the loss of the 2020 season. From what we have seen, RHP/1B Andrew Dunford (2023) has made the necessary jumps to be a big arm for the Bears this season. the big right-hander sits in the mid-80s and can run it into the upper 80s. Dunford fits right in with Chestnutt and Willis, checking in at 6-foot-7, 230-pounds.

 Andrew Dunford

The offense will be led by the lefty bats of Hughes and Harrelson. Both players have similar skill sets, 6-foot-3, 170-pounds or so, lanky, athletic. They can spray the ball around the field and can run. The two will be constant threats on the basepaths and will track down a lot of fly balls in the outfield. Barton College commit OF EJ Lewis (2021) will take that third outfielder position and adds even more speed to the lineup.

 Gage Harrelson

Despite losing out on the 2020 season, OF Drew Burress (2023) is ready to take another step forward. Burress is one of the top overall hitters in the Georgia's 2023 class, and can really do it all at the plate. He has power to the pull-side, can drive the ball to all fields, has great plate discipline. Burress has chance to have a huge season.

Drew Burress

OF/SS Elijah Smith (2023) will also be expected to contribute this season. He is a versatile defender, able to play anywhere in the outfield or middle infield. Smith will bring good athleticism and a line drive/contact bat to the lineup.

Elijah Smith

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

Find more information on the 2021 Bears below:

Full Schedule
Team Website
Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown