2023 Team Preview: C.E. Byrd High School

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, our staff is excited for the upcoming spring season.  Players and coaches have been working all fall and through December, in preparation for the upcoming season and as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Louisiana.

Programs across the state have goals and aspirations to finish the year in Sulphur, LA at the LHSAA State Tournament, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes a reality.  We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams and players across the state, as we preview many of the great programs from Louisiana.  We will take you right up to the first pitch of this season with these team previews and we'll continue providing coverage throughout the spring. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season, as we strive to be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across Louisiana.  Each week we will release our players of the week, as well as our Power 25 Rankings, which encompasses the top 25 teams in the state, regardless of class.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.  If you did not receive a questionnaire and would like to fill one out, please send an email to [email protected]

-High School Name: C.E. Byrd High School

-Coach’s Name: Greg Williams

-ClassificationClass 5A

-District: 1-5A

-No. of Returning Positional Starters: 5

-No. of Returning Pitchers: 4

-Team Strengths: Pitching Depth

-Top Returning Players: 2023 OF Brooks Brossette, 2023 C Lake Lambert, 2023 MIF Tyler Nichols, 2023 RHP Kaleb Smith, 2023 RHP Hayden Hoffpauir, 2025 UTIL Zach Wilburn

-Top 2023 Prospects: 2023 OF Brooks Brossette, 2023 C Lake Lambert, 2023 MIF Tyler Nichols, 2023 RHP Kaleb Smith, 2023 RHP Hayden Hoffpauir, 2023 OF K.D. Harris

-Top 2024 Prospects: 2024 RHP/OF Tyler Wooldridge

-Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects: 2025 UTIL Zach Wilburn, 2025 OF/LHP Cooper LaCoste



Team Outlook

The Yellow Jackets finished the 2022 season with a 17-17 overall record and were knocked out of the Select Division I playoffs, in the quarterfinal round best of three series, by Jesuit.  Byrd came out and won the first game against the Blue Jays, before dropping games two and three.  Head Coach Greg Williams and his staff are eager to get back to the state tournament, after making it all the way to the state championship game in 2021.  This strength of this year's club is their depth on the mound, as they return their most experience arm from last season, in senior RHP Kaleb Smith.  In addition to Smith, fellow senior Hayden Hoffpauir will also see mound time in 2023.  Hoffpauir is a big, physical 6'3" 200 lbs. hurler with a FB in the mid-upper 80's.  Junior Tyler Wooldridge is another arm that Coach Williams will rely on, and is a guy that he describes as "athletic and explosive" on the mound.  Sophomore Cooper LaCoste is a southpaw to keep an eye on, that will provide the team with depth on the mound, as well as in the outfield.  Offensively, Byrd returns several guys who had really good campaigns in 2022.  Senior OF Brooks Brossette was an all-state selection at linebacker and is a guy that can cover a lot of ground out in centerfield.  Senior C Lake Lambert was primarily used as a utility guy in the past, but will be the team's starting backstop this year and is a guy Coach Williams describes as a "tough competitor".  Senior Tyler Nichols is a scrappy 5'5" 175 lbs. middle-infielder who will work the count and be a tough out at the plate.  Fellow senior K.D. Harris is a really good defender in the outfield and is another guy who is going to take quality at-bats.  An underclassman to keep an eye on is sophomore Zach Wilburn, who will likely be used in a utility type of role and is a run-producer at the plate with gap to gap power.  District 1-5A is always a strong district in the northern part of the state and this year should be no different, as Benton and Parkway both return a really strong team, and Haughton and Airline are always really competitive.  Come playoff time, the Yellow Jackets will have to square up with familiar foes in Jesuit, Catholic (BR), Rummel, Brother Martin, and John Curtis, just to name a few.  Coach Williams's teams, however, are always so well coached and prepared, so we wouldn't be shocked at all, if they make another run to the state tournament this coming spring.


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