October 24, 2017
By Dustin Saracini
Okotoks, AB. – The votes are in.
Coaches from Baseball Alberta have tabbed Okotoks Dawgs Academy athlete Dryden Howse as Alberta’s Bantam AAA Player of the Year - an award that is presented annually to a player who has shown good sportsmanship, a dedication to the game of baseball, and leadership qualities, while exemplifying a high level of play on the field.
Howse certainly elevated his game this year with the Okotoks Dawgs Black club, collecting a .448 batting average on 91 hits, stealing 40 bags while hitting seven home runs, 10 triples, and 24 doubles, finishing the campaign with a slugging percentage of .754.
The utility player said it was just a regular day for him before he heard the news, and discussed the importance of the Academy.
“I was actually at practice and I just heard ‘congrats on the player of the year’ and I was a little shocked that I won it,” he said. “But, it’s pretty cool to win something like that. The Dawgs Academy means the world to me, the people there are awesome and they have not only helped me become a better baseball player, but they’ve helped me become a better person.”
The standout reflected on his season.
“I had the best year with my team and we had some great memories,” he said. “Our trips to Richmond and Atlanta were really good trips for me, those were exciting and I thought we all became very close there. My favourite memory had to be nationals, even though we didn’t win it all that was the most fun I had all year with everyone.”
The youngster also took to the field at the Rogers Centre in Toronto for the T12 Tournament - representing Team Alberta. Howse finished his tournament with a hit in two games, scoring three runs while playing against the top tier talent in the country.
“T12 was an unbelievable experience,” he said. “Playing at the Rogers Centre was one of the coolest things ever for me. I was a little nervous my first game but I just went out and played and had fun. I hope I get to go back next year.”
Drawing the curtain back and looking at the big picture, head coach of the Academy Allen Cox believes Howse has a bright future of baseball ahead of him, and has already started to field offers at the collegiate level.
“Dryden is a great and quiet leader who leads on and off the field,” he said. “He played shortstop for the provincial champions but is now starting to catch for us. He is getting some division one offers and has a visit in two weeks at the University of Washington Huskies. He reminds us with his abilities and quiet demeanor of the 2011 bantam player of the year, Matt Lloyd. He is a very big part of our future behind the plate and with the bat.”
Howse will be presented with the prestigious award at the Baseball Alberta Annual Awards Banquet, Nov. 25 in Edmonton.