In the heart of the infield diamond is where Gavin Roy has most made his name.Now he and the leather glove that he flashes so impressively will make their way to the American Heartland.The local baseball prospect confirmed his commitment, earlier this week, to the Cloud County Community College Thunderbirds in Concordia, Kansas.In joining the T-Birds, Roy will find himself competing in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, an eighteen team loop broken into two divisions of nine.
"I've always lived in a smaller tight-knit community and they have that there," said Roy, who just recently celebrated his 18th birthday. "It's a small hard-working town."
And while the Canadian import might be a smallish hard-working middle infielder, the man who knows him far better than most has absolutely no doubt about his ability to advance to the next level.
"He's got the work ethic, the attitude - he has the package to be able to succeed," noted Jean-Gilles Larocque, owner and coach with The Baseball Academy. "He's going to realize that he belongs there."
"He's failed enough times to be successful."
Arguably the key sparkplug on the Sudbury U18 Voyageurs last summer, Roy has a very good handle on exactly where Cloud College fits in with regards to his long-term development plan in the sport.
"The coaches will give me an opportunity to play and they (Cloud College) do a really good job of getting players to the next level," said the grade 12 senior at St Charles College.
In fact, in late November, the Thunderbirds announced that five of their athletes had accepted NCAA Division I baseball scholarships, the pathway upon which the program prides itself.
"He will be able to see pitching at that consistent level which is going to benefit him," said Larcoque. "Sometimes, with us, he felt like the weight of the world was on his shoulders to make things happen."
"There, he will see 20 to 30 guys that are just as good as him. All he has to do is do his part."
A highly skilled defender with a solid approach at the plate, Roy welcomes the challenge that lies ahead.
"It will be awesome to push myself with guys like that," he said. "Fighting for a position is awesome; it's going to make me better."
Though he has played primarily as a shortstop throughout his time in Sudbury, Roy is also capable of switching over to second. "The first thing at second base is to knock the ball down," he said, having showcased that skill pretty much every weekend he took to the field in recent years.
"You need to be agile for both positions, but at second, you've got a little more time."
Roy is looking to study with a major in Human Development and, if things go well, would love to transition over to a four year school within a year or two of arriving in Kansas.
From there, he can follow his heart.