The Snead State Community College baseball team opened up their 2019 season last week in two games against Mineral Area College.
Coach Casey Underwood is in his first season as the head coach of the Parson baseball program. The 2019 spring season will mark the 14th year in his coaching career at Snead State.
"Our goal is to put a competitive team out on the field," said Coach Underwood. "We want to see our entire sophomore class graduate with their degree and return to the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament."
"Our program sets the example that to be successful; it takes hard work in the classroom and on the field. We strive for the members of our team to be role models for the community and to inspire young players to strive and make it to the college level one day," said Coach Underwood.
Four players finished the fall semester with a perfect 4.0 grade point average – Griffin Johnson (Huntsville), Jacob Rich (Hoover), Drew Guffey (Hoover) and Nate Sanderson (Huntsville). Seventy percent of the team had a 3.0 GPA or better.
Last year, the Parsons had seven NJCAA Academic All-Americans. The team was also named an Academic All-American team and received the American Baseball Coaches Association's Team Academic Excellence Award.
Coach Gerry Ledbetter, who retired as head coach back in May after 26 seasons, rejoined the Snead State baseball staff as an assistant coach. He is joined by returning assistant Coach Jeff Simmons and newcomers Tyler Ashley and Cameron Coons.
The 42-man roster welcomes 15 sophomores and 27 freshmen players, following 10 players moving on to the next level after the 2018 season. Five players signed to division I schools.
Amos Willingham is in the lineup at Georgia Tech. Joel Cheatwood signed with the University of South Alabama. Brayden McCollom and Zontairious Scofield both transferred to Valdosta State University. Heath Senn and Caleb Hanson are playing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Other players playing at the next level include Briley Reeves (Troy University), D.J. Sledge (Stillman College), Trey Leonard (Jacksonville State University) and Will Morris (LaGrange College).
There are seven returning players on the mound for Snead State – Cameron Furr (Trussville), Joseph Hartsfield (Birmingham), Dylan Watkins (Hueytown), Kade Williams (Cullman), Zach Williams (Armuchee, Ga.), Brady Gilbert (Geraldine) and Caleb Floyd (Birmingham).
Snead State welcomes eight new pitchers to its arsenal this season – Caleb Shiftlett (Lindale, Ga.), Eli Dunn (Attalla), Brooks Tolbert (Helena), Cooper Wood (Decatur), Sebastian Langford (Huntsville), Britt Kelly (Roswell, Ga.), Griffin Johnson (Huntsville) and Mike Myers (Cullman).
The Parsons' top three hitters from the 2018 season return to the infield. Caleb Floyd (Birmingham) batted .384 with 37 RBIs last season. Jacob Bobo (Attalla) hit .308, and Jacob Rich (Hoover) batted .299. Others returning to the infield are Drew Guffey (Hoover) and Caleb Floyd (Birmingham). Floyd is also an outfielder for the Parsons.
Sophomore Dylan Cook (Trussville) is being joined by a set of newcomers vying for the final spot in the outfield – Cooper Self (Guntersville), Nate Sanderson (Huntsville), Tyler Davis (Huntsville) and transfer sophomore Parker Covington (Rome, Ga.).
The team's next home games are coming up Tuesday, Feb. 19. The Parsons will take on Itawamba Community College in a double header.
Conference games will start March 14 when Snead State will take on Southern Union at home. First pitch is at noon.
The baseball team's complete schedule can be found online by visiting sneadathletics.com.