2023 Team Preview: Sam Houston 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: Sam Houston High School

-Coach’s Name: Chad Hebert

-ClassificationClass 5A (Non-Select Division I)

-District: 3-5A

-No. of Returning Positional Starters: 5

-No. of Returning Pitchers5

-Team Strengths: Athleticism, Offense, and Pitching Depth

-Top Returning Players: 2023 MIF/RHP Dylan Thompson (Louisiana State University signee), 2023 MIF/RHP Sam Ardoin (University of Texas signee), 2024 MIF/RHP Griffin Hebert (University of Louisiana commit)

-Top 2023 Prospects: 2023 MIF/RHP Dylan Thompson (Louisiana State University signee), 2023 MIF/RHP Sam Ardion (University of Texas signee)

-Top 2024 Prospects: 2024 MIF/RHP Griffin Hebert (University of Louisiana commit), 2024 LHP Nik Toups, 2024 OF Dylan Bell

-Top 2025 Prospects: 2025 C Connor Walker, 2025 LHP/OF Cole Flanagan, 2025 INF/RHP Haden Peshoff



Team Outlook

Sam Houston had another successful campaign last spring, after going 33-10, making it all the way to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, before losing to eventual Class 5A State Champion West Monroe.  The Broncos, however, didn't make life easy on the Rebels in last year's quarterfinals, as they lost both games of the three game set by one run a piece.  Prior to last season, Head Coach Chad Hebert had led his team to a state tournament appearance in four consecutive seasons, and made it to the State Title game in 2019.  We had the fortune of seeing this year's Sam Houston team recently during one of their intersquads, and we left with high expectations for Coach Hebert's group this spring.  The 2019 Broncos team was a really good one, and on the mound they were led by Cameron Meeks, who was the Class 5A MVP that year, and Kyle Bartley, who signed with Southeastern Louisiana University.  This year's staff may rival the staff of 2019, as the Broncos have a lot more depth on the mound heading into the 2023 season.  Senior Dylan Thompson has been healthy this fall and has been throwing the baseball really well.  The LSU recruit runs his FB up to 90-91 mph, sitting comfortably in the upper-80's, and is an athletic mover with a smooth and easy arm action.  Fellow senior Sam Ardoin returns this year as well for the Broncos.  Ardoin, a Texas recruit, works in the mid-upper 80's with his FB, but his separator is a big "12-6" shaped downer breaking ball that he can land for strikes and swings and misses.  A couple of other guys to keep an eye on that could be in the starting rotation this season are junior LHP Nik Toups and sophomore LHP Cole Flanagan.  Toups has a XL 6'3" 230 lbs. frame with a loose arm.  Most recently, the southpaw showed a major jump in velocity, as we were able to see him sit 86-90 in the intersquad recently, to go along with a nice late-fading 76-81 mph CH.  Reports on Flanagan have also been good out of Moss Bluff, LA, and we saw him at our Lake Charles Preseason ID.  The southpaw works in the low-80's with his FB and is a strike thrower with a solid 3 pitch mix.  Out of the pen, the Broncos also return junior RHP Griffin Hebert, who we saw sit 85-89 mph with his FB, to go a long with a sharp SL in the mid-70's that registered spin rates of 2550-2650 RPM.  Turning to the offensive side of things, the Broncos return the majority of their infield with the "Big 3" of Thompson, Ardoin, and Hebert all back for another season, and all three should be major run producers for Coach Hebert this spring.  All three of those guys also pitch, so Sam Houston will need depth in the infield, which they have.  Senior Jaxon Landreneau turned in a good showing this past Sunday, running a 6.74 in the 60, while showing a simple swing from the right side with a 94 mph max exit velocity.  Sophomore Haden Peshoff is another quality athlete who will see infield time.  Peshoff ran a 6.97  this past Sunday and recorded a 89 mph max exit velocity. First base is another position up for grabs with physical sophomore Ashton Bultron as one option, as well as senior Garrett Courville.  We saw Bultron belt a HR to left field during the Broncos intersquad last week. Behind the plate, Sam Houston will turn the keys over to sophomore Connor Walker, who was a member of our Future Games team this past summer.  Walker is a really good receiver, blocker, and thrower, as he recorded consistent pop times of at Lakepoint this past summer.  He's also got some pull-side power and the at-bats that he received last year as a freshman, will only help him and the Broncos team this coming season.  Junior Dylan Bell returns in the outfield as well, and is another guy who we can definitely tell has spent some time in the weight room this fall.  A left-handed hitter, Bell has definitely gained more strength and looks to have a breakout junior campaign.  Flanagan is another guy who factors into the lineup, along with senior Carson Devillier and junior Reese Bailey.  District 3-5A has long been known as one of the most competitive districts in the state, with the Broncos typically battling it out with rivals Sulphur and Barbe, and 2023 looks to be no different.  Coach Hebert has always had good offensive teams and this year's Sam Houston team looks to be another strong offensive group.  The difference with this team, however, is the depth that they have on the mound, so we fully expect the Broncos to be a major contender for the Non-Select Division I State Title this coming spring.


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Upcoming Events

Baton Rouge Preseason ID 1/14/23 Zachary Youth Park (Zachary, LA) 
Lake Charles Preseason ID 1/15/23 Sam Houston High School (Moss Bluff, LA)  
Hammond Preseason ID 1/22/23 St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Hammond, LA)     
New Orleans Rising Stars ID 2/12/23 Mike Miley Stadium (Metairie, LA)


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