PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Gulf Coast baseball team has had six Bay County high school seniors commit to play for their program next season.
First-year head coach of the Commodores, Tyler Younger, has been using the work smarter, not harder approach, and has even snagged multiple players with division one offers.
“A lot of the guys here in town, you’re not going to find better guys in other areas,” Younger said. “So, if they’re right here in your backyard, you might as well give it a shot to try and get them.”
The current Gulf Coast roster has three players from Bay County high school teams; Barrett Johnston (Bozeman), Mason Smith (Mosley) and Carson Dorsey (Arnold).
Next year, that number will triple. Bozeman senior pitcher Jeremy Todd was one of the first to commit to the program, and when he hopped on board, it had a domino effect.
“It’s pretty cool what you can do just by getting guys, especially out of the county and then the Panhandle,” Todd said. “I think it’s opening eyes to see what kind of talent we have in the Panhandle and it’s not just one or two good players, it’s a bunch.”
Five Mosley seniors, Cole Horton, Tyler Wave, Trevor Allan, Blake Thomas and most recently Banks Byers have all committed to the Commodores, as Younger said the teammates recruited amongst themselves.
“I’ve always heard that your players are your best recruiters for that reason,” Younger said. “Because nowadays, kids that are from the same area sometimes do play on the same travel ball teams, so a lot of times it spreads like wildfire if you can get one guy.”
The Commodores will even have a seventh Bay County high school player join their team as former Bozeman baseball player, Cade Parker, who signed with Florida Atlantic and graduated in 2019 will be joining the team next year as well.
Todd said many of the players joining Gulf Coast will have played together since they first picked up a bat.
“It’s super cool you know, Banks, Tyler, and all of them, I’ve known them for a long time,” Todd said. “Banks and Cole, I’ve been playing with them since I was you know, eight years old, so it’s going to be super cool, I’m going to reunite with them on the field. Then other guys like Tyler and another guy over at Pace, Brock Parmer, I play travel ball with him.”
Coach Younger said that while his recruiting class is full of talent from all over the country, the Bay County players always take a little extra pride in representing Gulf Coast.
“They grew up with this being their hometown school right down the road,” Younger said. “And from a support standpoint, it helps us out with the local support for fans that will be able to come out here and see familiar faces they watch in high school and then they come and watch for another couple of years at our place.”