Season Preview: Bobcats look for another playoff run

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Beulah Bobcats come into baseball season with higher expectations than in years past, but the coaching staff and the team are ready to do even more than what is expected. 

Last season, the Bobcats finished second in their area and made the playoffs for the first time in at least a decade. Now in year four under head coach Michael Courson, Beulah is looking to take it a step further. 

“Making the playoffs is always our goal,” Courson said. “We achieved that goal last year. Our expectation this year is we want to be hosting. We want to win the area and host and have that first round here.” 

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Courson will be helped by pitching coach Jesse Ford, assistant coach Kevin Capps, Jamie Hancock and junior high coaches Rusty Arnett and Clint Cobb. 

This season, the Bobcats will compete in 3A-Area 7 alongside Dadeville, Childersburg and Randolph County. Childersburg won the area last season. 

The Bobcats had a fairly young team last season and they will be replacing just two graduates. Jackson Hancock and Noah Higdon both played huge roles for the Bobcats last season. 

Hancock primarily played as a designated hitter, but he also saw time at first base. Hancock was one of Beulah’s bigger bats last season. Higdon was a do-it-all guy for the Bobcats who played third base and served as the ace for Beulah’s rotation. 

“We’re trying to find somebody that can kind of fill in, not in a DH spot, but fill in his production,” Courson said about Hancock. 

“Losing his him has been big,” Courson said about Higdon. “Both of those guys were four-year contributors to our varsity program.” 

After having just one senior last year, Beulah brings in just one senior this season. Josh Jarrell is the only senior for the Bobcats this season. Jarrell will be expected to bring a ton of production and leadership. 

“He’s really been putting the bat on the ball while we’ve been practicing,” Courson said. “He’s been a good leader for us. He’s taken on the responsibility of being the only senior. I’m glad he’s out here. These guys look up to him. They all look to him as the guy. When he speaks, they all listen.” 



Hunter Duval, Drew Duval and Brady Blackston are currently set to be the three starting pitchers for Beulah. 

“Hunter has looked really good in our bullpens, our live pens and in our scrimmages,” Courson said. “Drew has looked really good. They’ve really progressed and they’ve taken to coaching.” 

“I feel like we’ve got three or four quality arms that can start for us,” Courson said. “That can add throughout the year just depending on how these guys progress throughout the year in the bullpen and in games.” 

Sye Siggers and Wes Grant will work as starters and in the bullpen depending on how they develop this season. 

Brayden Tapley will log some innings in the bullpen. Josh Jarrell served as the closer last season and will be a major part of the bullpen this season. Jadin Hancock will close some for the Bobcats and be a middle reliever at times. 



Trent Tidwell will be the starting catcher this season for the Bobcats. Brayden Tapley is set to be the backup catcher, but Tapley can fill in at several other positions for the Bobcats. 

“Trent Tidwell is a great catcher,” Courson said. “We’re blessed to have him.” 

“Brayden Tapley, who is a sophomore, he’s our backup catcher, but he’s a fine first baseman,” Courson said. “He can platoon at third base if we need him. He’s that guy that can kind of help us out a lot.” 

Tiago Pedro will be a catcher for the JV team, but he helps out with bullpens and could fill in for the Bobcats this season. 



Brayden Tapley will play at first this season. Other players like Devin Suggs, Jadin Hancock and Troy Toungett can also fill in. 

Junior Wes Grant will start at shortstop for the Bobcats. Grant will also bat leadoff for Beulah, and he is one of the more experienced players on the team. 

“Wes has been in that position since he was in the eighth grade,” Courson said. “Up the middle is pretty strong for us. Makes our jobs easier. 

Sophomore Sye Siggers will hold down second base this season for the Bobcats. Siggers is young, but this will be his third season starting in the infield for Beulah. Siggers will also fill in at shortstop when needed. 

“He’s been there since the eighth grade,” Courson said. “That’s his home. He can pick it at shortstop too if Wes goes to the mound. When Wes goes to the mound, Sye slides over and there’s not a drop in production.” 

Third base will be one of the more divisive positions for Beulah this season. Devin Suggs, Brady Blackston, Tapley and Jadin Hancock can start at the hot corner this season. 

Which third basemen starts largely depends on which player is hot at that time and who is on the mound each given night. 

“That lineup can kind of rotate depending on who’s pitching,” Courson said. “I don’t know if I’d say platoon. If we’ve got a guy that can hit the ball and play third base, that’s what he’s going to do.” 

Suggs and Blackston will both compete for the starting spot at third base, but they both could also fill other roles for the Bobcats. Blackston can play all over the infield, and he can even fill in for different outfielders. 

“We don’t go down in quality when Brady gets out there,” Courson said. “He gets after it.” 



Junior Drew Duval will start in center field for the Bobcats. Duval will be a third-year starter. 

Sophomore Hunter Duval will start in left field for the Bobcats. Duval started as a freshman. Duval is set to be one of the team’s better bats and pitchers. 

Senior Josh Jarrell will start in right field for the Bobcats. Jarrell will also be a major part of the pitching rotation.

Jadin Hancock will fill in at different positions in the outfield depending on who is pitching that night. Kason Kalla can also fill in some this season. Kalla is a freshman who will play some on JV, but he is considered to be one of the hardest workers on the team. 

“The expectation is there, the excitement is there, but we’ve got to produce and go out there and put the bat on the ball,” Courson said. “We’ve got to play solid defense, and we’ve got to pitch well.”