The Okotoks Dawgs first-year player Kadyn Williams has shown off his skills in the 2024 WCBL season and there is no doubt the Dawgs are happy to have him on the squad.

Williams who hails from Kansas gives credit to his dad and great grandpa for getting him involved with baseball at a young age.

"It really just started just being in the front yard, having my dad would throw it to me. My great grandpa used to throw it to me all the time, he passed away a couple years ago so every time I hit a home run, I will flash him and the fam the I love you sign," Williams said.

Kadyn Williams looking to smash the ball at Seaman Stadium.Kadyn Williams looking to smash the ball at Seaman Stadium.

"That's really where it started, and it took off from there. Played football a little bit in high school, played basketball a bit, wasn't really good. Baseball has always been the main thing and here we are."

He mentioned that it hit home that he could make something out of baseball in his sophomore year in high school. In his freshman year, he was a multi-sport athlete and took his time deciding what sport he wanted to pursue. Baseball was the eventual winner.

Shortly after he made the decision he put in a ton of work, had a good season and then the college offers started to come in. In Grade 11 he made his choice to go with Emporia State University and has played with them for three full seasons.

Kadyn Williams getting to second base after hitting a double.Kadyn Williams getting to second base after hitting a double.

Former Okotoks Dawg Noah Geekie and current player Graham Brunner told Williams about the team.

"We were kind of just sitting there one night talking about it, he kind of jokingly said 'You should come out this summer and play'. I was like 'I don't have anywhere to play, that sounds awesome'. Never been west of Kansas, I have been east and stuff but, first time out of the country (and) first time plane ride when I got here. I'm super glad he got me out here," he said.

Williams's first plane ride was a bit nerve-racking before taking off, but once he was in the air he got comfortable with the situation.

"Honestly I expected it to be a lot worse because I like to have control, being 40,000 feet in the air with some guy I have never met before in control. I thought it was going to be scary but, it was honestly awesome. Just being able to see the different views from being so far off the ground, it wasn't bad at all," Williams explained.

Kadyn Williams jumping for a ball in the outfield. Kadyn Williams jumping for a ball in the outfield.

When he landed in Canada Williams didn't experience much of a culture shock other than the no A/C in most houses and the views of the mountains. He said he plans on going up to Banff once his parents come to Okotoks in July and having a family experience in the beautiful landscapes.

With the Calgary Stampede coming up, one thing Williams has in common with the festivities is his dad used to bull ride.

"He was kind of a bull rider before he had me, I bet you I had watched him two or three times, I don't really remember too much of it. I like to give him some grief saying I would have been better if I grew up doing that kind of stuff. He went to college to play baseball, and ended up doing rodeos and stuff, met my mom, and now here we are," he said.

Kadyn Williams playing some pre-game pepper with an Okotoks youth.Kadyn Williams playing some pre-game pepper with an Okotoks youth.

He recently headed back to Kansas to get his license figured out since he just turned 21. Every time Williams hits the field, he's sure to give a shoutout to his parents.

"When I went back home the other day, my grandma was kind of pissed that I didn't shout her out. So, hey grandma, hey grandpa, both sides, Aunts and Uncles, hey everybody," Williams joked.

"Growing up in a small town in Kansas can get boring if you are not around the right people, I was lucky enough that I got raised the right way and around the right group of people. You know sisters, family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all that kind of stuff."

Kadyn Williams stepping up to bat.Kadyn Williams stepping up to bat.

A video was released by the Dawgs earlier in the season showing many players riding a mechanical bull, Williams was one of those players and heard it from his family when he went back home.

"It was good, like I said, never really grew up doing rodeos or anything so I didn't have any pointers. I go back home and just get grilled by my dad and grandpa about it. They are like 'You aren't doing this, and you aren't doing that right'. I'm like 'I don't really care'," he said.

Kadyn Williams talking with coach Joe Sergent after getting on first base.Kadyn Williams talking with coach Joe Sergent after getting on first base.

Williams plays the majority of his time in college in the in-field but has been playing more on the outfield with the Dawgs. He prides himself on being an athlete and being able to play any position in baseball. He also gives his teammates and the fans credit for making it easy to play his best.

"Luckily we have a good enough squad to where this is easily the most fun, I have had playing baseball, fans are unbelievable, I'm in a different country which is a surreal experience in itself. I have been embracing it for the first month of the season and I'm excited to see how the rest of it plays out," Williams explained.

Two weeks before the season started helped get him in a grove with the teams and added that lifelong memories will be made during this season. He said that coming earlier also helped him meet some of the returning players and now after doing that road trips have been fun with the teams joking around with each other.

Williams also mentioned his favourite part about being in Okotoks is how the whole community gathers together to help support the Dawgs.

"This is a baseball atmosphere like I have never seen, it's not a ginormous town but, it's not small either. I have never seen something where the whole community comes and rallies behind something. I think that's another reason why we are good year in and year out."

10 questions for Kadyn Williams:

Have you tried poutine yet?

"I have, it's weird. I never thought about putting gravy on fries, it's weird. I'm a huge texture guy, so it's not my favourite. But it's not like something I wouldn't try again. I would give it a four out of ten."

What is your guilty pleasure song?

"I think it has to be my walkout song (Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield). The song puts me in a good mood, it's really hard to not to smile when you listen to that song."

Favourite movie or TV show?

"I'll give you an answer for both, TV show by far Peaky Blinders. They are making a movie out of that, so that will be exciting to watch. Movie? probably Blue Mountain State the Rise of Thadland. I watch that movie a lot."

How many ballpark hot dogs could you eat in one sitting?

"If I had an hour to sit down and eat as many hot dogs as I can, I'm going to say I'm putting down 15. If you give me a lot of water and ketchup, I'm good."

Go-to cheat meal?

"McDonalds, it is getting a little bit expensive. But usually, McDonald's. I don't know what the number is here but back home it's the number three which is the double quarter pounder meal with ketchup only, large Dr. Pepper."

Favourite ball team and player growing up?

"So, growing up it was the Royals but, it kind of switched to the Braves when I was like 12. So, I would say the Braves and Dansby Swanson, that's why I got the flow."

If I could grant you one wish, what would you wish for?

"For the Oklahoma Sooners to win the 2025 national championship in football."

What household chores do you hate doing the most?

"Every single one, I hate cleaning. My mom doesn't like that I hate cleaning, but she picks up the slack. Shoutout to Mom."

What usually scares you the most?

"Heights. My grandpa owns a construction company and I used to work for him a bit in high school. So, when I was on the roof and looked down, absolutely not, no chance."

Favourite sport other than baseball?

"Football all day. I might like watching football more than I like watching baseball. Huge football fan."

What is the weirdest thing on your bucket list?

"I think I would want to catch a snapping turtle with my bare hands. I think that would be the weirdest thing, I think it would be awesome to do."