Cade Connell heading to his field of dreams in Iowa

Recent 2022 Wheatland High School graduate Cade Connell has been playing baseball all of his life and is taking his game to the next level as he has received a full scholarship to play in what some think is heaven, but in all reality, is Iowa.

WHEATLAND – On Jan. 14, 2004 a baseball player was born into the new millennium.

Born and bred in Wheatland, Cade Connell has always had a desire to play baseball and a dream to take his talents to college and perhaps, beyond.

His field of dreams is ironically in Iowa as he has signed and accepted a full-ride scholarship to play baseball for Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. He will cease to be a Bulldog and begin his career as a Yellowjacket.

As a youngster roaming the playgrounds of Libbey and West before getting to the bigger ball diamonds in high school he has fond memories of always following his dad, Brian Connell who also has a passion for baseball and has played and coached most of his adult life.

“Dad and I used to play, pretty much since I could walk,” Connell said. “He’s who I got my love for the game from. He played college baseball at U-dub before they had the program cut and he got me into it at a really early age and I don’t know if I’d have gotten into it if not for him. I’m glad he did because it’s my favorite thing to do.”

As a ranch kid, he grew up on what he calls, “mom’s ranch” and developed his work ethic his ability to push through things when the going sometimes gets tough, and in Wyoming, that can be more often than not.

The family, according to Connell has been ranching for 30 years on their 22,000 acres ranch and one day when Connell takes over, he will be a third generation Wyoming rancher. He may go on to see the world, get his education and play some baseball, but he plans one day to come back to the only place he’s known as “home.”

“I think working on the ranch toughened me up and made me stronger mentally,” Connell said. “It helped me to be mentally stronger for baseball which is a huge part of the game.”

The family raises corn, alfalfa and about 400 pair of cow calves. He has competed in FFA and 4H with his show steers and among other extra-curricular activities he has played football, basketball and baseball. Oh, and he is an avid hunter and sportsman.

Connell has been playing in the Colorado competitive leagues for baseball for the past four years and is currently on a team in Loveland.

“When I was 14, I got invited down to play on a team in Cheyenne,” Connell said. “I played down there until that program got cut, but then me and four buddies went to play in Loveland. I like the competition and in Colorado, there are a lot of good players. As for my position, they use me a lot as a catcher.”

He also plays some infield and outfield, but mostly catches and he is carrying a .431 batting average. The team he plays for is Garretson’s which is a sporting goods store. His team plays from the first of May until the end of August, so the team pretty much eats, sleeps and lives on the baseball diamond every weekend.

As for Graceland University, Connell’s cousin was attending there on a wrestling scholarship and after a visit to the school it was pretty much in his heart to play there.

“It was just the right fit for me,” Connell said. “The agricultural business side, is one of the best programs in the NAIA for that. I’m really excited to go play there. We will play a fall schedule that begins Sept. 1. I’m exstatic, it’s always been my dream to play college baseball.”

Connel says he wants to have fun playing baseball, but his focus is also on getting a degree in ag business and business administration. He will bring a lot back to the plate here in Wheatland when the time is right to come back home.

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