Neutral Hills Wranglers win gold

Written by Terri Huxley

The Neutral Hills Wranglers U18 baseball team has proven themselves worthy of a gold cup following the action of Tier 2 AAA provincial tournament held in St. Albert, Alta. from Aug. 6 – 8.

“From where we were at the start of the year to where we were at the end it was incredible to see,” Coach Drew Boyer shared with the ECA Review.

“We were such a different team the way we gelled all year long. And once we got to Tier 2 Provincials, everything just clicked – our pitching, our defence, our hitting; everything was there and that’s how it got us to the finals and eventually won it for us,” said Boyer.

“To win that first provincial championship in our first year is something exciting and it’s great for the community and for small, rural Alberta to bring a provincial championship home.”

This newfound level of worth has rippled out to other teams as well by proving the team has gumption already in its first year of play since being established last year in 2020.

“Now that we’ve proven we can compete at the top level of AAA baseball, I think we’ve gained some respect in the baseball community and other teams know who we are and know what we can do.

Because of their success at Tier 2, the team was invited through bid to compete at the Tier 1 level in their provincials at Sherwood Park held the next weekend (Aug. 13 – 15) where they almost made it to the semi-finals.

The Wranglers ended up winning one out of three games.

“It took us a day to adjust to the level of play,” said Boyer. “We were one win away from the semi-finals.”

Six of the 14 players on the team are locally based including two from Kirriemuir, two from Coronation, one from Provost and one from Oyen.

Two Grade 12 students are moving on to higher levels of play with the Lethbridge Prairie Baseball Academy next year.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.