Prep Baseball Report

TN HS Team Preview: Hardin Valley Academy Hawks

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: Hardin Valley Academy
Head Coach: David Dillon
Classification: AAAA
District + Region Number: District 4 + Region 2
2023 Record (Finish): 34-7




    After a remarkable season that saw the club reach the state championship game with a 34-7 finish, the Hardin Valley Hawks are back with a vengeance that comes with a wealth of experience returning, including five positional starters and five talented pitchers. Beating Farragut is no easy feat, and the Hawks did that 3 times last season before losing to them in the finals. That mentally will help them compete as once again should battle for the district crown. The offensive lineup looks to be their point of  strength with multiple guys that can get the job done when needed. Center-Fielder and current uncommitted senior Caleb Neely will be back in the leadoff spot with blazing 6.6 speed. He has a knack for stealing bases when he gets on first and will be a major sparkplug allowing the Hawks to get on the board early. Junior IF/OF Tennessee Tech commit Jaxon Jones should be in the top part of the lineup where he has a chance to slide into the 2-hole as he splits time between 2nd and LF. Most likely in the 3-hole will be PBR Tennessee Future Games alum and Tennessee commit Colton Denton. He will primarily spend the majority of the season behind the plate as he moves over from 3rd, where he will still play at times, while also being a reliable arm where he should get starts on the bump this season to go alongside being in a closer type of role. Senior 1B/RHP Jacob Dillon will be a key leader and hit the middle part of the order, while being a district starter on the mound where he has a mid 80’s fastball with plus feel for spin (2600+) and a 3 pitch-mix. Senior and ETSU signee Henry Ferguson will be back manning an infield spot full-time and be a bat in the middle heart of the lineup. He also comes with speed on the bases and a threat to steal bags. Senior Maryville Signee Caleb Jinks should be another reliable arm in the district with the ability to fill up the strike-zone. Senior Carter Goodwin will see time behind the plate as well as in the outfield as the bat has been hot all of spring and want to make sure they get that in the lineup. PBR Future Games alum Jax Sparks will be back in the ace role this season after a standout freshman campaign that saw him go 8-0 on the mound with a win in the state tournament over Walker Valley. He looks to take a larger role defensively as he moves to Shortstop creating more athleticism in the infield all-around, while having the ability to switch hit in the box. The Hawks will try to fit the pieces together this season as they have some inexperience joining the starting lineup. Junior Josh Taylor looks to create more opportunity for himself, while sophomores Carson Lane and Camden Huckaby will be given extended opportunities. Freshman Mason Shelton also may get thrusted into some type of role on varsity as they expect big things from him in years to come. It is a really talented team with youth in some areas, especially on the mound but should have invaluable experience in the early parts of the season as the Hawks look poised to make once again make a deep run in postseason play with their eyes set on returning to the state tournament.


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