Sarnia ballplayers heading south to play D1 ball

(Left) Greg Ross with the Great Lake Canadians. 2019. (Photo by C. Roenspiess Photography) (Right) Nicholas George with the Great Lake Canadians. (Photo provided by George)

A pair of Sarnia ballplayers are heading down south this summer to square off against some of the best Division 1 schools in the States.

Nicholas George and Greg Ross both play for the Great Lake Canadians and both are now wrapping up their time at Northern Collegiate.

George accepted a scholarship from William Penn University in Iowa, while Ross is heading way down to Big Spring, Texas on a scholarship to play for Howard College.

George, a 6’3″, 230 pound native of Forest, said he’ll be playing basically everywhere, except middle infield, for the William Penn Statesmen.

He also said he models his game after Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo.

“He’s got a sick swing from the lefty side with big power, just like me, and he plays all of those positions,” said George. “I’ll be playing first base, third base, I’ll be doing some catching, pitching, and patrolling the outfield.”

George said a good friend of his, Jamieson Hart, a fellow Sarnia resident who he’s known for eight years, is in his third year at William Penn.

“He was kind of my bridge between head coach Laird and getting my information off to him, and he was a big driving force behind me getting a scholarship.”

George said he plans to major in sociology with a background in criminology, and he hopes to pursue a career with OPP if his baseball days are over after four years in Iowa. However, his main goal is to go pro.

“I believe I have a good shot, I just gotta keep working, don’t ever take days off and hopefully the chips fall where they need to.”

George started his ball career with the Forest Cardinals and lived in the town for over a decade before moving to Sarnia.

Ross is a self-described long and lanky pitcher who models his game after New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner.

The 6’3″, 175 pound right-handed hurler said he can’t wait to get down to Texas and leave some cold Canadian weather behind.

“I went down there because I know they win and I like it down there, I want to be in the hot weather.”

Ross played with the Sarnia Braves for over 10 years before joining the Great Lake Canadians.

He said his main goal after school is also to play professionally.

“Hopefully after two years down the at junior college at Howard, I go to an NCAA school and hopefully get drafted. But other than that, I’m studying pre-med, I want to be a chiropractor, so when I get to university, hopefully, I’ll be studying kinesiology.”

Ross credited his dad with teaching him everything he knows about pitching.