The Okotoks Dawgs Organization has seen its share of NCAA D1 players dawn the red and white, both on the summer collegiate team and academy teams over the years. In recent years, the Dawgs Academy has graduated over 32 players to NCAA D1 programs including several “Power 5” schools such as Indiana, Alabama, Washington State and Oregon State. In fact, one could argue that the number of Dawgs Academy graduates and summer collegiate Dawgs on or to be on the roster of PAC-12 and national college baseball powerhouse, the Oregon State Beavers, illustrates a special relationship between the 3 time NCAA Division 1 National Champion and the Dawgs.
In 2016, on the recommendation of Corvallis Knights President, Dan Segel, Dawgs Managing Director, John Ircandia, hired Tyler Graham and Andy Peterson as coaches for the summer collegiate Dawgs. At the time, after an outstanding college career at Oregon State and a professional career in the San Francisco Giants organization, Graham was serving as a coach and later the director of player development at his alma mater in Corvallis. Peterson, another outstanding Oregon State grad who was part of an NCAA D1 National Championship and later played in the Seattle Mariners organization, was serving as infield coach at OSU and joined the Dawgs in a similar capacity. Since then, while maintaining his close ties as Assistant and Infield Coach of the summer collegiate Dawgs, Coach Peterson has become the head coach of Linn-Benton Community College, one of the top junior college programs in the Pacific Northwest.
From those simple beginnings, the connection between the Dawgs Organization and the Beavers has flourished. Dawgs fans will remember names like Michael Gretler and Elliot Carey, the first two players OSU sent up for the summer of 2016. Gretler was named Outstanding Dawgs Player in 2016 and was later drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both he and Carey moved on to professional baseball careers with MLB organizations. But, that was just the start of things.
Since 2019, outstanding Dawgs Academy graduates like Micah McDowell and Cesar Valero (both Canadian Jr National team players) have joined Oregon State. Current Academy prospect, Conor Pote, is already committed to join them at Oregon State in 2022. In addition, former Dawgs Academy catcher and Dawgs summer collegiate standout, Gavin Logan, who went on to star at Linn-Benton Community College for Coach Peterson, has also committed to join the Beavers in 2020. Add to that impressive list current Dawgs summer collegiate players Richie Mascarenas, Jacob Melton and Brock Townsend, have all become Beavers.
Dawgs Academy GM, Tyler Hollick commented: “to think that a program from Okotoks, Alberta, Canada could have such a deep-rooted connection to one of the most prestigious, storied baseball programs in all of the NCAA is surreal.”
Dawgs founding and managing director, John Ircandia added: “It has always been the fundamental goal of the Dawgs to offer our players the best coaching, the best development programming, including the highest level of competition, and in the past 12 years since we built the Seaman Stadium Complex, the best facilities in the country. Being able to expose our players to a program like Oregon State which is clearly one of, if not the best in NCAA Baseball, gives us incredible pride. Go Beavers! Go Dawgs!”
The Dawgs have always prided themselves on providing opportunities and experiences for their athletes that are second to none; from playing in front of 4,000+ fans every home game during the WCBL summer collegiate season, to the Academy making a West Coast College tour that includes 7+ games against NCAA D1 programs, and everything between.
As is evident, top recruits joining the Dawgs Academy Program will enjoy being exposed to top college programs in the United States, like Oregon State as well as the premier Canadian college programs.