01/26/2017 4:16 PM
The Lethbridge Bulls will have a couple familiar faces on the coaching staff this season. Two former Bulls standouts will take over the coaching duties from Ryan MacDonald who led the Bulls to two West Division titles in three seasons as head coach, and the WMBL Championship in 2015. Jesse Sawyer who has been Coach MacDonald’s assistant the last two years will move into the head coaching position, and former Bull, Joel Blake will take over as assistant coach. It is a very exciting time as the Bulls have been able to build from within the organization with two great alumni of not only the Lethbridge Bulls program, but also the Prairie Baseball Academy.
Sawyer and Blake’s career paths look almost identical. Both attended the Prairie Baseball Academy in 2007-08. From PBA the duo went on to attend NCAA Division I, South Dakota State University. They were impact players from day one, hitting almost exclusively 3 and 4 in the lineup for the Jackrabbits in their 3 years in the program. Sawyer finished his career at SDSU with a .325 average (208-641), 44 2B, 50 HR and 173 RBI. Joel Blake finished with a .373 average (262-703), 70 2B, 22 HR and 149 RBI in three seasons with the Jackrabbits. Blake played one season for the Waneroo Giants of the Metro State League in Perth, Australia where he was named a league all-star as a catcher.
Since their playing days have ended both have been very involved on the coaching side. Sawyer is in his 4th season with the Prairie Baseball Academy as the programs Junior Varsity head coach. Sawyer has coached in the Lethbridge American Legion program as well as heading up the camp program for PBA. Joel Blake is in his 5th year with the Vauxhall Academy Jets, and was the head coach of the Vauxhall Spurs for three years before accepting the position with the Bulls.
It is a very exciting time for Bulls fans. Both Sawyer and Blake bring a passion for the game that is hard to find. It is tremendous to see two great friends come full circle in their careers. After playing together for so long, this summer with the Bulls will be the first opportunity Sawyer and Blake have had to coach together. They have been on opposite sides of the field in recent years, but never on the same side. As always the Bulls will look to come out on top of an extremely difficult West Division in the WMBL.
The Bulls 2017 WMBL season gets started on June 1st when the Bulls travel to Brooks to take on the Bombers. The Bulls home opener will be June 2nd when Fort McMurray comes to town for a weekend 3 game set. Check in next week for an update on the first players signed for the 2017 season, and the complete 2017 Bulls schedule.
If you are interested in purchasing 2017 Bulls season tickets please contact the Spitz Stadium office at 403-320-2025.