Call it a pack within a pack.
Three Prince George baseball players have ventured down to Kamloops this week to not only start post-secondary education, but to also prep for their freshman collegiate season in the spring.
Hunter Fanshaw, Jake Anker and Kolby Lukinchuk have all committed to the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Wolfpack for its upcoming 2021 campaign.
In an interview with PrinceGeorgeMatters, Fanshaw believes since he and his teammates are all set to make the roster, it proves the work ethic of local baseball programs.
“This was kind of the goal to get to the next level and try and make something out of baseball,” he explains.
“Obviously, coming out of Prince George, you have to work harder than other towns, you know, it’s harder to get recognized. So it definitely means my hard work didn’t go unnoticed. [...] Just because we’re from the north doesn’t mean that we’re any less better than any other team down south when we work hard.”
In 2019, Fanshaw, Anker and Lukinchuk helped lead the 18U AA Knights to a third straight Baseball BC title, a third BC Minor Baseball banner in the last four years and a bronze at the Western Canadian Championships.
There was no 2020 season as a result of COVID-19.
The Wolfpack compete in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC), which consists of seven teams spread from B.C. to the prairies.
Fanshaw says he’s confident the 2021 season will go through in regional cohorts, meaning TRU would only play teams within driving distance and no overnight stay.
Regardless, he says it was the program’s coaching staff that led to his and his teammates’ decision to play in black and orange.
“Ray Chadwick, our coach, everything you hear about the guy is good. He coaches the players really well, he’s going to push you to be a better player, and obviously, if you’re wanting to transfer, he will support your decision. It’s close to home too, and then they’re a competing team every year. [The Wolfpack] are always in the top four or five teams within the league and hopefully, we go number-one this year.”
While he looks forward to the experience of playing at a higher level, Fanshaw also says it means a lot to him personally to have familiar faces on campus.
“You have some guys going into the same situation as you and that you can connect with on a certain level since we come from the same place. It'll be nice to have someone who, if you’re struggling or you need somebody to be there with you, you can reach out. Me and Jake literally have a wall separating us, so that’ll be fun.”
Fanshaw looks to be in the outfield, Anker is eyeing second-base or shortstop, while Lukinchuk hopes to land a pitching position for the Wolfpack.
In the classroom, Fanshaw is going for his degree in education, Anker a Bachelor of Arts and Lukinchuk in business.