September 21st, 2021

Prairie Baseball Academy salutes the past with Alumni Weekend

By Dale Woodard on September 14, 2021.

The view has changed slightly for Lukas Ankermann and Nathan Fulcher.

As the Prairie Baseball Academy held its Alumni Weekend at Spitz Stadium and Lloyd Nolan Yard, the duo found themselves not on the diamond, but in the upper concourse of Spitz Stadium in viewer mode.

Both Ankermann and Fulcher’s time at the PBA is recent, but the PBA alumnus are still involved in the game.

Fulcher is now the pitching coach for the newly-formed Lethbridge High School Baseball Academy.

As for Ankermann? He’s moved to the front office.

Fittingly, he’s not far from the park, either, as Ankermann works at the Spitz Stadium office as the finance assistant.

“So I’m still, in a way, involved in baseball, all the players coming in in the summer and during the season. So I’m still quite a bit involved,” said Ankermann.

It was through Lethbridge Bulls president and general manager Kevin Kvame that Ankermann landed his current day job.

“In my second year of PBA, Kevin knew what kind of program I was in at the University and asked if I wanted to come work for them and that they had an opportunity. It’s been really good. It’s always good to stay involved in ball.”

Ankermann played with the PBA from 2016 to 2019.

“It’s been a couple of years now,” said Ankermann. “So it’s always good to see the guys they bring in and all the recruitments they do in the summer. It’s always nice to see all the talent coming in.”

Being around some of that talent from past years has helped Ankermann as well.

“It definitely means a lot,” he said. “There are so many players over the years that go on to play professional or go on to play ball in the States. To play in the same program as those guys and be in the same conversation as other alumni that have gone on and been successful means a lot.”

Meanwhile, Fulcher is no longer on the mound, but has shifted to the coaching side of things.

“It’s going to be interesting going forward,” he said of the program, which made it’s debut the previous weekend at the Keith Jorgensen Memorial Tournament. “I think it’s good for the university program because of the local talent building up confidence playing.”

Fulcher played for the PBA until the spring of 2020.

“It helped me to grow up and it’s something I’m glad I did,” he said.

“There were a lot of life lessons learned here.”

The PBA Alumni Weekend started with the Keith Jorgensen Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament Friday at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort and was followed up by a social at Lloyd Nolan Yard.

The weekend ended Saturday night with the PBA – who fielded a split squad in a five-team field that also featured teams from Calgary and Edmonton as well as Vauxhall – playing Vauxhall Saturday night under the lights at Spitz Stadium.

While Fulcher recalled wrestling matches with his PBA teammates back in the day as highlights of his time with the program, Ankermann pointed to his freshman year at the PBA as a standout.

“We were a really good group of guys and finished first in the league,” he said. “All the guys in the lineup were really solid, hitting and pitching. It was just a fun group of guys play with.”

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