-2.7 C
Elmira
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin looks to take his game to the next level after being recruited to Grand Rapids, Mich.

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind. That’s not a passing fancy, as the sport has been a key part of his life since the age of 3. Dedication to it has earned home a scholarship to Davenport University in Michigan.

For the last few years, Jacklin has been an outfielder with the London-based Great Lake Canadians program, an elite squad that has provided him with plenty of training … and exposure to U.S. Scouts.

“We play in a lot of tournaments in the States,” said Jacklin, noting it was at one such outing last fall that he caught Davenport’s eye. “I guess they liked what they saw.”

With the scholarship in hand, he’ll be heading off to Grand Rapids in September. For now, he’ll continue with his training in preparation for his NCAA baseball experience.

Collegiate ball is the next stage in a passion that started early. His first organized games came courtesy of South Woolwich Minor Baseball, and by the time he was in Grade 2 he’d made the jump to the more expansive Waterloo program.

Those early years were formative, he said.

“They helped me grow into the player I am today.”

It was when he was in Grade 8 that he saw that he could pursue baseball at a higher level, setting his sights on the scholarship route, as he’d long been a fan of college sports.

“That was when I thought, ‘maybe I can give this a shot,’” said Jacklin.

A couple of years later he switched to the Great Lake Canadians program launched by a couple of guys with pro baseball experience, Chris Robinson and Adam Stern.

“It’s a great learning experience,” he said of playing against stronger competition. “There are some good players there.”

Instructors keep them focused, noting there’s plenty of competition at each phase along the road to playing professional baseball.

“Someone is always gunning for your spot. You’ve got to stay committed to what you’re doing.”

Jacklin is very familiar with that commitment, having devoted much of his time to training. His current schedule covers six days a week, including two in London. On top of that, though having graduated last summer from EDSS, he’s back part time taking extra credits, fitting part-time work into the week.

“Your social life definitely suffers a bit,” he laughed. “Baseball would always come first.”

Having been focused on his goal from an early age, Jacklin notes his parents have been supportive every step of the way.

“I owe a lot to my parents,” he said. “I’m very thankful for all that they’ve done for me throughout my baseball career.”

The hard work and effort have paid off to date, with his college years now on the horizon. Jacklin said he’s looking forward to the new adventure.

“I like meeting new people, having new experiences,” he said, adding past shifts to new teams and plenty of travel should help in the adjustment.

“Being able to play baseball at the next level will be exciting.”

Steve Kannon
Steve Kannonhttps://www.observerxtra.com
A community newspaper journalist for more than two decades, Steve Kannon is the editor of the Observer.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

CREATIVE ARTS

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place to be as we suffer through some midwinter weather. Way...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...

Jacks take 3-2 series lead into deciding weekend vs. New Hamburg

The Wellesley Applejacks are up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the New Hamburg Firebirds, having claimed two of this week’s three games in...

Woolwich hires contractor to assess condition of its buildings

Some of the municipal buildings aren’t particularly old, but Woolwich is already planning for the eventual repairs and replacement costs associated with equipment such as...

Para hockey rivals Canada and the U.S. face off in Elmira this week

They come from all over the country, but they’re united in one goal: take back the gold medal for Canada.

Jacks split opening pair in playoff series vs. New Hamburg

For the Wellesley Applejacks, 4-1 and 4-1 make it 1-1 in the opening round of the Provincial Junior Hockey League playoffs.
- Advertisement -