Ethan Dean was already thinking of attending University of Victoria after he completes high school.
Last October, that decision became easier when the Parksville Royals pitcher was recruited by the newly formed Victoria Golden Tide, that will play in the Canadian College Baseball Conference in 2021.
“The University of Victoria is one of my main choices of schools that I want to go to even if I don’t play baseball,” said Dean, who plans to take up computer science. “It’s a bonus that I get to go there and play baseball as well.”
The Grade 12 Ballenas student had other offers to consider but was surprised to get recruited by the Golden Tide coaches.
“It kind of appeared out of nowhere,” said the 18-year-old from Nanoose Bay. “They gave me the best option because UVic is closer to home and I really like the school. They approached me just at the beginning of the fall and I committed in mid-October.”
During the summer, Dean had just a few occasions to showcase his talents due to COVID-19 cancelling the BC Premier Baseball League and other major events.
“I did have to miss a few events because of COVID,” said Dean. “I was hoping to play more. It was a bit disappointing.”
But despite the season being cut short and mainly consisted of exhibition games, Dean was still able to post impressive stats. The six-foot-one lefty recorded 24 strikeouts in 21 innings of work and ended up with an ERA of 2.00.
Starting in a new school next year and playing for a new team is an exciting prospect for Dean. It has motivated him even more to work on his skills. To keep his game sharp during the off-season, Dean takes part in a performance training program for baseball in Nanaimo.
“I have been doing that now for a little bit and this goes on throughout the winter,” said Dean, who occasionally adds tennis to his training regiment as well as perform workouts at home.
“I am hoping to add more velocity to my pitches. I am always going for more speed.”
The Golden Tide will compete against other CCBC teams from Kelowna, Kamloops, Chilliwack and Abbotsford, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Edmonton.
Although baseball is his passion, Dean said education is always his priority. A math whiz, Dean is extremely keen on computer designing and 3D printing.
Two years ago he started a project to build a prototype for a bionic arm.
He had plans to build a prothesis meant to stand in for a person’s lost limb. He said, “it’s a side project for now.”
Golden Tide head coach Curtis Pelletier and pitching coach Ethan Fox, who incidentally are Parksville Royals alumni, are excited to have Dean joined the Victoria squad.
“When I have saw him throw, I really liked his makeup and competitive nature. Ethan has great stuff and is very projectable,” said Pelletier.