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PHOTO BY NICK BUTH/MORNINGSIDE ATHLETICS – Morningside University sophomore Wade Canaday, a 2019 Marshalltown High School graduate, pitches against Northwestern College April 23 at MercyOne Field at Lewis & Clark Park in Sioux City. Canaday earned its fifth league-leading victory as the Mustangs won 9-7 in Game 1 of a Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader.

The simple act of structuring a baseball program took Wade Canaday from one “M” to another.

Driving up the hallowed fields of Marshalltown, where the American pastime is played with a vigor that few others can match, he got a feel for the Bobcat Way, something that produced a few Iowa championships. High School Athletic Association.

“The high school curriculum has always done a lot for young kids in the city,” Canaday said. “There were always camps to go to when we were playing little league. It gave us all an idea of ​​what Marshalltown baseball was like.

“From the start, I appreciated the structure. The discipline to get where the high school team wanted to be is something I enjoyed being a part of. I just wanted to mind my business that way.

Former MHS head coach Steve Hanson couldn’t have been happier. Canaday turned his desire for success into being on a state tournament team as a junior and then being a first-team all-star as a senior.

As he went through a star-studded prep career, another ‘M’ came to call his hometown. This one in the form of Morningside University head coach Adam Boeve and assistant coach Adam Hilker.

“They didn’t stop at just one visit,” Canaday said. “It was every week. No one else has done it this way. I knew they wanted me there, so there was no doubt that I wanted to be a Mustang.

It was the same kind of family atmosphere for him in Sioux City.

“The coaches, the campus, my teammates, the fans – everything about Morningside was what I hoped for,” he said. “As an example, our fans remember a lot about what Marshalltown had. Even in the aftermath of a tornado that hit the town, our fans came out when we went to declare when I was a junior.

“Morningside fans are there with us every home and away game, no matter the distance,” he added. “They feed us after our matches. It’s a total family feeling.

At the start of his collegiate career, Canaday had to find his place. He tried a combination of infield, hitting and throwing. However, a broken leg wiped out that option.

“One plate and nine screws later and my foot is still bothering me,” he noted. “I can’t stay on the pitch as long as necessary, so it’s up to me to throw.”

“Hey, I just want to do whatever helps the team,” he added. “That’s why I took the chance to do two areas in first and second year.”

The view of the mound was comfortable. Canaday has compiled 12 wins and more than 150 strikeouts in 30 starts. His 2021-22 campaign has been quite remarkable, with three outings of 10 or more, including 14 in a regular-season home series finale win over Hastings on April 28 and May 1.

Wade didn’t even realize how close he was to a one-game schedule. He was just two years away from tying and three years away from setting a new school record.

“Until I heard the announcement and saw the pitch board, I had no idea,” he said.

Being locked in is nothing new for one of the top pitchers in the local Boeve area, the Great Plains Athletic Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“There’s an art to being able to locate a baseball for strikes,” he said. “It’s an amazing feeling when you get two strikes and you spot that exact spot for the third.”

Kind of like what he sees when he thinks about the structure of his playing career from one M to the next.

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