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The Boys of Summer Are Back in Town!


Team Chemistry the Focal Point for Week One

The atmosphere at RE/MAX Field has been palpable as players from across North America have begun checking in for the 2024 season!

“We’re excited to have everybody in town and hit the ground running,” says Head Coach, Jake Lanferman. “This year the biggest thing is that we’re trying to have a winning record and make the playoffs. I think we've done a really good job of recruiting to put us in a position to do so.”

The boys will be put to the test early as they travel to Bellingham, Washington, this Friday for the 2024 season opener. After a three-game showdown with the Bells, the Hawks hit the road once more, heading south to Ridgefield to cap off the six-game West Coast road trip. Lanferman views the chance to start the season on the road with optimism.

“I think it's really good to get on the road for a long amount of time right off the bat. It allows the guys who are rooming together to get to know each other and to build those relationships early on.”

Building that team chemistry within this newly assembled team is Lanferman’s main goal for this week's initial four days of practice. This summer, 40 rookie Riverhawks from programs across the NCAA and NAIA are set to join a seasoned group of a dozen veterans in the clubhouse. Lanferman notes that leaning on his trusted veterans will be key in the early stages of the season.

Among those veterans is Halen Knoll, the 2023 West Coast League Pitcher of the Year, who was thriving on the group's energy during the first day of practice.

“Man, I’m just so fired up! [We have a] whole new set of guys and lots of talent out on the field this year.”

Knoll is looking to improve upon his impressive 2023 campaign both on the field and in the clubhouse. “I’m just going to do my best to consistently lead by example and keep pitching well on the mound for my team.”

Adding to what promises to be an impressive veteran bullpen is WCL 1st Team All-Star Riley Barrett from Arizona State, and Calgary’s Brendan Loeppky, who was tossing in the 90s on a regular basis with the Edmonton Collegiate Hawks this past season.

Among the cast of newcomers this summer is Canadian Demitri Shakotko, an outfielder from Div. 1 program Southeast Missouri State. Shakotko has quickly formed a positive impression of the city and his new team.

“[RE/MAX Field] is a beautiful stadium. I couldn't have asked for a better park and I’m excited to see all of the fans here! It seems like we have a great group of guys. There's gonna be a lot of laughs, a lot of good memories, and it should be a lot of fun.”

Apart from fine-tuning his on-field performance in practice this week, Shakotko has one key priority before heading out West on Friday: “Try to remember everyone’s names!”

While the Hawks’ are primarily focused on the upcoming road trip, Lanferman is already looking forward to returning home to RE/MAX on June 7th for the highly anticipated home opener.

“[Edmonton] is definitely a sports city, and our fans love baseball. When we're here and we got four, five, six thousand buzzing, it's extremely fun. We’re very fortunate that we have the fan base we do.”

Off the field, the Riverhawks remain focused on bringing affordable, picture-perfect fun to RE/MAX Field with an array of new jerseys, wacky contests and 27 fun-filled theme nights!

You can grab your tickets to watch the new squad play at our beautiful ballpark in the River Valley by clicking right here.