A Lacombe 17-year-old will soon be throwing strikes in the NCAA for Division 1 school Niagara University in Lewiston, New York.
Myles Pallister, a Grade 12 student at Lacombe Composite High School said having the opportunity to play at the highest collegiate level is a dream come true.
“I have wanted it since I was able to understand what it meant. My whole life has come together. It is a pretty unreal feeling,” he said.
Pallister, a right-handed pitcher, grew up in Lacombe Minor Baseball, before making the switch to play at the AAA with the Red Deer Braves. It was when he made the switch that he realized he may have what it takes to throw at the next level, but Pallister always felt he would play collegiate sports.
“I always wanted to play college sports and I always thought I would have a legitimate chance at doing that. The baseball side of things started taking over halfway through Grade 11. I realized there could be something more than this and it could be a pathway for me,” he said.
College teams started calling Pallister after he completed Grade 11 last year, but it wasn’t until he competed in the Canada Cup with Team Alberta that Niagara really started to take notice.
“After a tournament at the Rogers Centre, I started talking with their coaching staff and they seemed pretty into me. That is when I knew it was possible,” he said.
Pallister hopes to play pitcher at the NCAA level, but said he still loves playing infield and batting. Currently his fast ball is above 80 miles/hour, but he hopes to be over 90 miles/hour by next summer.
“I throw a fast ball, curve ball and a change-up,” he added.
All indications are that Pallister will get playing time right away, with the coaching staff at Niagara telling him he will not red shirt as a freshman.
“I will work my tail off for the opportunity to get innings and time on the mound. That doesn’t come easy for a freshmen. This offseason and the fall and winter there will be crucial to get the opportunity to make the final roster,” he said.
Having achieved the main goal of life, Pallister is now setting his sights higher.
“I have aspirations to play professional baseball and maybe get looks from major league teams in the draft. If that opportunity presents itself, I will jump at it,” he said.
He added, “It is still unreal to me to talk about it. It has been a part of my life forever and I still can’t believe it.”