The Weyburn Beavers will be looking to continue to improve on the successes from last season when they take to the field Friday night for their season-opener against the Moose Jaw Miller Express. The team finished five games out of a playoff spot with a record of 14-42 in head coach Cam Williams’ first year. Back for a second year, Williams, who is also the head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos, will be looking to a solid core of veterans to lead the way, and a group of impressive first-year players, to help bring the wins to Tom Laing Park.  

So, who are some of the returners? 

“First off, you got to say, Ryan Dauphinee,” Williams said. “He’s in his third summer here. He’s been an all-star last year, an all-star reserve the year before, and I know he’s got a catchy walk-up tune, so I know the fans really like to see him come up to the plate. As well, Ryan Muizelaar, who was one of our better offensive players last year and stole 22 bags.” 

Others slated to come back from last year include Brayden Mayencourt, who has played the past two summers with the Beavers. Mayencourt is slotted as an infielder on the roster but has shown he is capable of playing all positions.  

Also returning this year is catcher Robert Gurney, who is back for his third year in the WCBL, and second with the Beavers. And there will also be a familiar local face in the lineup.  

“He’s from Alameda, so just not too far from here, and he’s going to play a big-time outfield for us, and it’s exciting because he is finally healthy,” Williams noted about the southeast product. 

There will be some prominent new faces in the lineup as well.  

In terms of pitching, the Beavers will have back Owen McConnell and Ethan Webster from last season. They are both expected to see some time in the starting rotation and could also make appearances out of the bullpen.  

“We have a couple older, newer players – seniors from schools down south – that will kind of fill out the rotation,” Williams said of the pitching staff. “I think it’ll be a really good mix of kind of some veteran leadership and some younger, exciting arms as well.  

Some of the new faces to Weyburn include two-way player Ian Heck. The Roseville, California product pitched 67 innings this past collegiate season, racking up 65 strikeouts. He also went .362 at the plate with six home runs and 37 RBI.  

“He’s a veteran bat, and arm for that matter, and I think he’s going to be huge for us on both sides,” Williams said of Heck.  

Also coming to Weyburn is freshman Quentin Smith, who plays collegiate ball with Maryland-Eastern Shore.  

“Quintin’s going to be a really exciting player to watch,” Williams said of the freshman. “He’s really good defensively, really good offensively.” 

The season will start at 7:00 p.m. Friday night, with a game against the defending East Division champion Moose Jaw Miller Express at Tom Laing Park.