CHRISTIAN BOND; Sports Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitefish Montana – California Lutheran – Wenatchee Valley College – Central Washington University – Pacific Lutheran University. The journey of PLU baseball player Kyler Blades has been anything but average. It took four schools, but Blades has found a home both on and off the baseball field.
Kyler Blades is one of eight seniors on the Pacific Lutheran University baseball team, but is unlike any other. Blades hails from Whitefish, Montana and graduated from Whitefish High School. Blades has made stops at four different colleges.
“I transferred for a multitude of reasons,” Blades said. “At California Lutheran I realized I could not afford it for four years. From there I went to Wenatchee Valley College because it was cost efficient, kept me on track academically, and the coach offered me a spot on their team. Central Washington was next, but in the in the fall, I was left off their roster.”
Blades had success at Wenatchee Valley College. Blades was a lead off hitter and batted .390 in conference. Blades was honored with the Wenatchee Valley College Leadership Award. Blades remained on track academically and earned his Associate of Arts and Science Degree by the end of his year at WVC.
Although he didn’t make the team at Central Washington, Blades stayed hungry to keep playing the game he loves.
“I was under the impression and confident that after my quality year (at WVC) I would make their team,” Blades said. “I made the decision to transfer a final time and used being cut as a motivator. I remember working out, hitting, and taking ground balls six-seven days a week eager to get one more shot.”
Blades shot came at PLU. Blades has a career batting average of .292 in two seasons in a PLU uniform. Blades has a career on base percentage of .378. Blades is listed as an infielder, but his athleticism allows him to play all over the diamond.
After being the new student at four different schools, you could almost say that Blades has become used to it. However Blades considers reestablishing yourself among roommates, teammates and finding new friends to be the toughest part of being in new places. Members of the PLU baseball team have helped Blades find a home both on an off the ball field.
“My teammates have been awesome,” Blades said. “When I arrived last year, I was welcomed no questions asked. It felt like I had been here for years already. Events like volleyball games or flag football were places I got asked to go and that really helped getting connected to all kinds of people.
At PLU I would say a greater sense of community among students as well as the professors that genuinely care about each individual’s success. Overall, I am glad to be surrounded by a great group of guys to close out one final season.”