Talent for the Game

Amman Dewberry has every intention of becoming the first baseball player out of Peachtree Academy to reach the NCAA Division I level, and a stellar junior season with the Panthers moved him one step closer to his goal.

by Brian Knapp

Moments of sheer brilliance naturally draw attention to Amman Dewberry and away from everyone else. Case in point: the three shutout innings the soon-to-be Peachtree Academy senior pitched against Social Circle on March 27. Dewberry struck out eight of the 12 batters he faced in a 5–3 loss to the Redskins—a team rich in young talent that would advance to the Sweet 16 in the Georgia High School Association Class A State Tournament a little more than a month later. He threw 61 pitches, 39 of them for strikes, as his bullwhip of a left arm pierced the 83-degree air with one mesmerizing offering after another. Out of the 24 players who saw action at Burke Field that day, Dewberry stood out as an anomaly.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound southpaw appears poised to breach new frontiers and wants nothing more than to bring the Peachtree Academy baseball program along for the ride. The Panthers have never produced a player who moved on to play at the Division I level in college, and Dewberry has already drawn interest from Kennesaw State and Georgia State universities. He plans to keep his options open, with visions of the Red and Black dancing in his head.

“I want to go to the University of Georgia,” Dewberry said. “I’ve been to their showcases and camps, and we’ve sent a couple of emails, me and my coach. That’s my dream school, but anything at the next level will be amazing and a dream come true. It would be a really big deal. I would be honored [to be the first Peachtree player at the Division I level]. I’ve been at Peachtree my whole life, so that would be really cool to put my school—a school that I’ve dedicated all my life to—on the map.”

Peachtree Academy head coach Kevin Boeckmen understands the value in the exposure a player of Dewberry’s caliber brings to the table for a small school. It can have long-term ramifications.

“It is always a plus when you can say you had a player go play Division l baseball,” he said. “We have had several players go on to play in college but not at the D-l level, so if Amman were able to accomplish that goal, it would be a big boost for our program.”

Dewberry remembers feeling the need to push himself as a teenager. He started at the varsity level as an eighth-grader at Peachtree in 2018, as the Panthers won their second consecutive state championship. The experience lit a fire under him.

“I’ve been at Peachtree my whole life, so that would
be really cool to put my school—a school that I’ve dedicated all my life to—on the map.”

Amman Dewberry

“I think I was about 14 when I started to get really serious about college and thinking, ‘You can go to college for free off of this,’” Dewberry said. “That was ridiculous to me, so I thought, ‘Let me put some work into this.’ That’s where I started working out, lifting weights [and] hitting baseballs every single night.”

Three years later, the fruits of his labor are evident. Dewberry led the Panthers to a 15–9 record and a spot in the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools I-AA State Tournament semifinals during his 2021 campaign. Armed with a fastball that approaches 90 miles per hour, a traditional 12-to-6 curveball and a change-up, he compiled a stellar 3.12 earned run average on the mound, striking out 75 batters in just 34 innings of work. At the plate, he hit .373 and paced the team with 17 runs batted in. Dewberry’s intangibles separate him further from the pack.

“Amman is a humble leader who does not put himself above the team,” Boeckman said. “He brings a quiet confidence. He has all the tools, and he is a fun and caring teammate.”

Perfect Game USA—arguably the nation’s premier organization for showcasing and scouting high school-age baseball talent—rates Dewberry as the No. 130 player in the entire state of Georgia and ranks him in the Top 500 nationally. He was named to the PG Preseason Underclassmen All-America Team in 2021 and has spent the last three summers playing travel baseball with FCA Warriors in Loganville. Like most others in his position, Dewberry can envision someday sharing the field with Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mookie Betts.

“I want to go to the big leagues,” he said. “I want to make a career out of this. It’s been my dream for a very long time.”

Time will tell whether or not Dewberry can turn his dream into a reality. Outside the lines, he remains committed to his studies and points to the work ethic that was long ago instilled in him by his parents, father Rod, a pastor, mother Kerry, a nurse practitioner. Dewberry believes in putting a safety net in place, just in case baseball does not work out. 

“I’m really into business and finance,” he said. “My dad got me into trading stocks very early in my life, so I think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to business. I want to study finance in college. I think a business background would help me fall back on that for Plan B.”

Beyond the classroom, Dewberry can focus on sharpening his already-prodigious skills ahead of what promises to be an eventful senior year—a year in which he hopes to return Peachtree Academy to the promised land. 

“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and I’m really happy about my career,” he said, “but you can always do more. You can always do better.” 

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