Rival fans of the Dawgs mercilessly taunted the team by debating whether they should be called “Choke-otoks” or “Oko-chokes” after another playoff exit at the hands of the Edmonton Prospects last year.
It’s a bit harsh for a team coming off of back-to-back 35-12 regular seasons, but first-round postseason losses to the Prospects three summers in a row will bring out that kind of heckling.
As frustrating as the playoff failures have been in recent years – it’s now been a decade since the Dawgs celebrated their last league title – Okotoks will once again be one of the best teams in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL).
With excellent coaching, strong player recruitment, top-notch facilities, outstanding fan support and a great feeder system in Okotoks Dawgs Academy, the team is well positioned for success in 2019.
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With three seasons in the books, no postseason baseball to speak of, and a potential audience that appears to be finding better ways to spend their evenings than at Elks Field, the Brooks Bombers need a boost this summer.
Last season, the team had Riley MacDonald to entertain the locals. The catcher put the “bomb” in Bombers by smashing 20 home runs and establishing a new Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) record for long balls in a single season.
Despite the hitting display from MacDonald, the Bombers finished the year with a 13-35 record. That put them in last place in the Western Division for a third straight year. Brooks has never won more than 15 games in a season.
So, what can be expected of the team this season?
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It’s hard to tell if the Edmonton Prospects have been regular-season underachievers or playoff overachievers the last few years.
The Prospects were a .500 team in the regular season from 2016 to 2018, and they appeared in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) finals in back-to-back years in that time. Last summer they upset the Okotoks Dawgs before the Medicine Hat Mavericks ended their playoff run.
They seem to get hot at a good time of year, but their inconsistent campaigns leave fans wanting more.
Which version of the Prospects will show up in 2019? Can a new coaching staff bring regular-season success to the club? These are just a couple of questions facing the team heading into the season.
Read More Edmonton Prospects Season Preview
Thanks to the Medicine Hat Mavericks, the Lethbridge Bulls were seeing red at the end of the 2018 season.
That red came courtesy of the rose-coloured caps and uniforms of Medicine Hat, who eliminated Lethbridge 3-1 in a five-game playoff series that saw the Mavs outscore the Bulls by 18 runs over four games.
Despite the frustrating finish, there were plenty of bright spots in the Lethbridge lineup.
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Entering their fourth year of existence, the Fort McMurray Giants are in playoffs-or-bust mode.
Last season’s record of 17 wins and 31 losses may not look like much, but it left the Giants just two games back of the Edmonton Prospects and the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Division of the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL).
In an attempt to bolster their postseason hopes, the Giants have raided Edmonton’s talent pool.
Read More Fort McMurray Giants Season Preview