Prep Baseball Report

TN HS Team Preview: Coffee County Central Red Raiders

Hunter Martin
TN Scouting Director

The 2024 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 Power 25 and much more.

*Please note the information has been gathered from head coaches across the state, based on their replies to the questionnaire we distributed over this offseason.

High School: Coffee County Central High School
Head Coach: Kyle Douglas
Classification: AAAA
District + Region Number: District 9 + Region 5
2023 Record (Finish): 19-12
No. of Returning Positional Starters: 4
No. of Returning Pitchers: 4
Team Strengths: Pitchability and general team approach.



Nate Rutledge (2024, Freed Hardeman)

Cole Pippenger (2025, Mississippi State)


Class of 2025


  • MIF Davis McKenzie (2026)
  • OF Isaiah Deadman (2026)
  • UTL Austin Gipson (2026)


Coffee County Central High School comes into the 2024 season with major contributors set to make their return. This is a club that finished with a positive record of 19-12 after steamrolling through District 9 and making a regional appearance. They would end up losing to eventual state tournament participant Walker Valley and Shelbyville Central in the Region 5 tournament, who they had beaten 5 times previously throughout the season. That is the way baseball goes sometimes and has surely left a bitter taste in Raider’s mouth. This year’s squad returns multiple key pieces, especially in premium positions. Starting off in the senior class, you have Freed-Hardeman signee 1B Nate Rutledge who has been a solid contributor over the last two seasons. He was a guy that was forced into action early as a sophomore before he was probably ready. That experience has been invaluable for this year’s club as he has made huge jumps over the last two years and has become one of the most reliable guys in the lineup.He is someone that has great feel for the barrel and has really cut down on his swing and misses. He will be a middle of the order bat and bonafide leader of the team. You then have senior CF Bird Fellers who has manned centerfield since his sophomore season, while also throwing significant innings in a flex/relief type of role. The Raiders look for him to step into the 3 man rotation with losing a couple of arms from last year’s club. You also have senior OF Brendon Sheppard who has played outfield and catcher since his sophomore season and Coach Douglas is looking forward to him taking a step offensively this season. Leading the junior class, the Raiders offer a pair of college prospects starting with Mississippi State commit shortstop Cole Pippenger. This is a guy that has started shortstop and batted in the top 3rd of the lineup since his freshman season, while batting a combined .330 along the way. At catcher, the club will have Blake Hillis who shows natural feel for receiving and the arm strength continues to develop. He should slide somewhere in the middle of the order with present juice already. Lastly rounding out the ‘25 class you have OF Colter Need who should provide some sparks and be an impact bat. Coach Douglas is trying to get him to cut down on his swing and misses and decisions but has all the pieces if he can put it together. This year’s team looks young on paper as they will be relying on a handful of underclassmen to contribute with the older guys. In the ‘26 class you have MIF Davis McKenzie who looks to man second base and work in tandem with Pippenger. If those guys can get on a report, look for them to turn two with ease. You also have OF Isaiah Deadman with electric speed and has a future on the mound where he offers arm strength and pitchability. Lastly, there is Austin Gipson who is a do it all utility man and can stick just about anywhere. He is a pure athlete that is currently a little undersized but can grow into his frame over the next few seasons while having plenty of opportunities this season to find a spot to fill. Pitching looks to be the Raider’s strength and should be able to go toe to toe with just about anyone in their district and region. There is some inexperience at play here with a few positions to fill and with Lincoln County, Shelbyville and a few other schools getting more talented this year, the Raider’s will have no easy cake walks. However, they do have returning talent in positions that matter and that alone could allow them to handle the growing pains that they may accumulate this year. Look for the Raider’s to be a force in District 9 yet again with eyes on taking a step further and getting past Regionals, bets are on them.

Find more information on the 2024 Coffee County Central High School program below:

+ Follow them on X: @C_H_S_Baseball
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Tennessee Team Previews Page


+ Prep Baseball Tennessee on X
+ Prep Baseball Tennessee on Instagram
+ Prep Baseball Tennessee on Facebook


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