There was never a doubt as to whether or not Sierra High graduate Dylan DeBrouwer would continue on his baseball career, but when the option to join nationally-ranked Sonoma State University squad presented itself he didn’t hesitate.
The three-time all-Valley Oak League player jumped instantly at the chance to become a Seawolf when Sonoma State head coach John Goelz expressed interest in DeBrouwer joining the club.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” DeBrouwer said. “I am very thankful that the coaching staff gave me the opportunity to go play there. They are one of the top NCAA Division-II programs in the country.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going in there and working hard and making the biggest impact that I can.”
Sonoma State has had a great deal of success under Goelz’ watch, bringing home nine California Collegiate Athletic Association championships, and seeing 75 players drafted to professional ball clubs over his 25 year career. Goelz has amassed over 850 victories since taking over the helms in 1986.
Sonoma State ranked third in the nation after the 2008 season. The Seawolves posted 50-plus wins and finished third in the NCAA Divisions II National Tournament.
“I feel like with all of my hard work and the sacrifices I’ve made I feel I’m very deserving of this opportunity,” DeBrouwer said of joining the program. “Other kids have been able to go and do other things and instead of going and doing those things I’ve had practice.
“After putting in the hard work and the time, you feel like you’ve earned the chance.”
VOL mate and Manteca High graduate Matt Burrows will also be a part of the Sonoma State program, giving DeBrouwer a familiar face he’ll recognize during the immediate transition period. Both players have been able to put together standout VOL careers and will now combine forces in Rohnert Park.
“Matt and I have been playing against each other since we were like 8-years-old,” DeBrouwer said. “So it’s like I’ve played against Matt pretty much my entire childhood. When Sonoma State said they wanted me that was one of the first things that excited me was that we would be able to play with each other.
“It’s not going to be this huge rivalry anymore.”
Sonoma State’s academic semester begins Wednesday with the baseball team beginning workouts the following Monday. DeBrouwer will try and find his way on the field through one of the middle-infield positions.
“Their starting shortstop just got drafted last year,” DeBrouwer said. “They need infielders, so I’m going to work hard and bust my butt and try and get that spot.
“And try to be the one in four years getting drafted.”