Gulls Welcome First Players to the Flock
Sylvan Lake, AB – The Sylvan Lake Gulls have announced the signing of the first players to their roster, including local talent from central Alberta.
The expansion Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) franchise, which will take the field for their inaugural season in 2021, unveiled a quartet of signees on October 21st.
Those players are all out of Gonzaga University, the NCAA Division 1 baseball program in Spokane, Washington that Sylvan Lake head coach Jason Chatwood suited up for in 2008-09.
Pitcher/first baseman Nico Zeglin and corner infielder Alex Zerfass – who both call California home – join pitcher Jack Moffitt and middle infielder Anthony Garrett as the first players signed by the Gulls.
Chatwood looked to another alma mater, Colby Community College of the Kansas Jayhawk Conference, and at some familiar faces for further roster additions.
DREAM COME TRUE
“It’s definitely a blessing because Chatwood is a great coach and with him being my high school coach he asked me right away if I wanted to be on the team, because he wants some local talent on the team,” Arnold told the Red Deer Advocate newspaper.
“When I was younger I always wanted to play in the (WCBL) because I knew it was the best league in Alberta but I wasn’t sure where I would play because there wasn’t a team close to me. Now, there is a team just outside my hometown and I’ll get to spend more time with my family that I don’t get to spend a lot of time with throughout the year, so it’s fantastic.”
Arnold, who attended Red Deer’s St. Joseph High School, made eight appearances for the Trojans in 2020, racking up 12 strikeouts through 10.1 innings and registering a 3.48 earned run average.
Olson, meanwhile, batted .326 with six homers, three stolen bases, 17 RBI and 14 runs through 15 games for Colby during the team’s abbreviated season.
“It’s extremely special for me to be apart of the Gulls inaugural season, and being just a few minutes outside of where I’m from and where my family is, is just a bonus,” the Notre Dame High School grad told the Advocate.
Sherwood Park product Brayden Cust impressed through 19 games for the Trojans, smacking seven long balls and swiping six bags while registering 29 runs, 18 RBI and a .468 batting average.
Tyler McWillie – a graduate of the Okotoks Dawgs Academy from Watrous, Saskatchewan – took to the mound and the batter’s box for Colby Community College, recording 10 Ks through 4.2 innings while producing a .400 batting average and a pair of home runs through 35 at bats last season.
“Tyler played on the national junior team also, so these are guys that have experience, they have good leadership qualities, and they want to come in and work hard,” Chatwood told RD News Now.
“The guys we’re getting, they’re established college players, and along with a lot of the guys in the WCBL, they have goals of playing professionally at some point.”
Chatwood hinted in an interview with Alberta Dugout Stories earlier this year that he would be in touch with Colby’s head baseball coach Ryan Carter about player recruitment.
“Absolutely we’re going to be in close contact with him,” said Chatwood at the time. “That’s a big thing, is building those relationships with those coaches to find the right home for their players in the summer and hopefully, for some of them, it’s Sylvan Lake.”
Mitchell, who is from Kitchener, Ontario, recorded 11 Ks through 11.2 innings for Garden City Community College this year.