TN High School Team Preview: Elizabethton Cyclones

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The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Tennessee.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Murfreesboro at The Spring Fling as they compete for a state championship, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Tennessee. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing other pieces of content covering the Volunteer State.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each TSSAA classification as well as a Power 25. 

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

High School Name: Elizabethton High School

Coach’s Name: Ryan Presnell 

Team Twitter Handle: @betsybaseball1

Classification: AAA 

2022 Record: 13-16

District + Region Number: District 1 + Region 1

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Defensive execution, strike throwing pitchers, high contact rate at the plate

Top Returning Players:

Team Outlook:

The Cyclones had a bit of a down year last Spring as they battled it out in district one while being eliminated in the district tourney to finish the year 13-16. They made state tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019, but it seems they’re still on the upswing with another young core of players that will contribute. ‘23 OF Kaleb Hambrick, ‘23 CINF/RHP Peyton Johnson, and ‘23 RHP/3B Wesley Shankles  will be the lone upperclassmen to contribute heavily and provide veteran leadership. Hambrick will be a key lefty bat in the lineup while Johnson and Shankles will lead the pitching staff. ‘25 LHP/OF Bryson Rowland is another solid prospect, who will play a key role and has a future on the mound. ‘25 INF/C Jeriah Griffin is a high level athlete and will be able to play all over the field for the Cyclones. ‘25 OF Brayden Buckles will round out the outfield and is a young leader amongst the group. One to watch will be ‘26 INF/RHP Rhett Slagle, who has been on our radar and also is a QB on the gridiron. Slagle will be a crucial two-way contributor, especially on the mound as a freshman. This young bunch will look to take another step while getting some valuable varsity time. If it all clicks they could make some noise in the district, but it will be tough task with two 2022 state tournament teams within the league. 


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