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Royals flush with four American Legion stars

hayden shackel

Hayden Shackel of the Fort Macleod Royals is an American Legion district all star.

Four Fort Macleod Royals made the American Legion Baseball Northern District A all-star team, and two were also named to the all-state team.
After a great season in which the Royals placed second in the eight-team Northern A District, Jake Hansen, Maverick Price, Hayden Shackel and Taylor Wolstenholme were all selected for the Northern A District all-star team.
Royals coach Ben Paskal is delighted.
“It makes me proud that these guys have been recognized,” said Paskal, who was head coach this year after two years as an assistant to Brad Dersch. “I’ve seen the passion these four have for baseball. Their hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed, and their talents have been recognized. I couldn’t be happier for the four of them. They deserve the honours.”
Paskal said four Royals making the all-star team is an unusually high number — making up almost a third of the honours team. Another four were chosen from the Great Falls Electrics.
“That number is high, the Royals and the Great Falls Electrics had the most players selected for the all-conference teams,” Paskal said. “It means a lot to the Royals. It’s an honour as a team to have these players. Those boys have worked hard to get to where they are, and are talented young men.”
“It’s good for our program as well, to encourage the young players on our team to set goals, as well as other kids who are considering playing.”
Hansen and Wolstenholme also made the American Legion all-state team, which is selected from all the teams in Montana State A.
“That’s over 40 teams,” Paskal said. “To have two guys selected is rare, and a huge accomplishment for our program. Both of them made the all-state team last year as well, and they continued their exceptional play throughout this season to earn the honours again.”
Hansen was the top pitcher in Montana State “bar none,” Paskal said, and also played outfield for the Royals.
Wolstenholme played center field and also pitched, occasionally seeing time behind the dish.
Price was starting shortstop and also pitched, besides being Hansen’s personal catcher this year.
Shackel, who is the Royals all-time home run leader, primarily played first base but also saw a lot of time at third.
“He also pitched lots of innings for us this year,” Paskal said.
Shackel at 19 is aged out of the Royals, but Hansen, Price, and Wolstenholme, all 18, are eligible for another year.
Problem is, they’ve all got other plans, said a wistful Paskal.
“All three of these boys have such pride for the Royals program that I know they’d love to play their last year of Royals,” Paskal said. “But all three of them are attending college or university this year with new opportunities in their future. We hope to have all three of them back, but nothing is for certain.”
All four will be playing college baseball this fall.
Hansen has accepted a scholarship at Pensacola State in Florida.
Price, Shackel and Wolstenholme will be playing for the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge.
Price has enrolled in the University of Lethbridge; Shackel and Wolstenholme are enrolling in Lethbridge College.
The Royals finished with a record of 19-8 in conference play finishing second in the district after the Great Falls Electrics.
“At the district tournament we finished second to advance to the state tournament,” Paskal said. “Our goal for the season was to make it to the state tournament, which we accomplished. We finished fifth at the state tournament. We feel we could have done better, but we’re happy in perspective being the fifth best team out of over 40.”

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