Come this time of year, students are making the decision on where they are looking to continue their education post-secondary. It is a lot to grasp, but there is an additional choice for elite high school baseball players. They must find a baseball program that fits their athletic needs as much as their academic ones. And, that doesn’t include the other variable of whether to pursue colleges south of the border. In this deep dive, we discuss the challenges of the next chapter with Tristan Deslauriers and Jackson Taylor, two members of the 18U Oshawa Legionaires.
Tristan Deslauriers is a catcher/first baseman and is committed to Salem University in West Virginia. His teammate, Jackson Taylor, is an outfielder and is committed to Lake Region State College in North Dakota. Although they are going to different schools, they are current teammates for the Oshawa Legionaires and have shared many memories together. Now, they have both engaged in the beginning process of the unknown that is post-secondary education.
As many of us have experienced at different times in our life, change is scary. After high school is all finished there is a combining of nerves which could includes moving away from home, leaving life-long friends, and an increase in independence. “I’m not nervous at all ‘cause I’m ready for the experience and wanna dominate.” This is the mindset of Jackson Taylor when asked about if anything made him nervous for the upcoming chapter in his life. This mamba-like mentality is admirable but it is not the case for everyone.
“I am nervous to live on my own, but also ready to learn. I am nervous about leaving my friends and family.” Tristan Deslauriers stated quite honestly. However, he understands that there is excitement in the possibilities down the road: “But even though I am nervous, I am ready and cannot wait ‘til I get to go.”
Baseball is such a large part of both of these student-athletes’ life, and expressed huge excitement in the programs they get to be a part of. As we all know, a large aspect of sport is the social component with their peers. Both Deslariers and Taylor have already been in contact with some current players and other commits, creating a ramp which gradually brings them into the world of American baseball. “The exact night I got the offer from Salem, I did a zoom meeting with the coaching staff and that meant the world to me”
The college experience is a unique one where we have the most opportunities to socially interact, and being on the baseball team is perfect gateway into a built-in friend group with similar interests. Deslauriers said that he is excited for the university experience is ready to “learn, become and grow into his own person.”
Both players also said that playing in the States won’t be odd because of their playing experience with the Legionaires program. “I’ve gotten a great sense of what baseball looks like down in the USA,” Deslauriers said. “I am excited for my new baseball home away from home.” They also explained how classes are all going to be in person and, in Taylor’s case, mask free (as of right now, of course).
Starting a new chapter in life as large as continuing school post-secondary has its ups and downs. We get to continue our development into who we are, but it comes at the cost of an overhauled lifestyle and difficult schooling. However, in a baseball context, this is the next step in these players’ baseball journeys. “Moving out is scary,” Deslauriers said, “but I know this is what I really want and I know that in order for me to achieve my dreams this is the best possible path I need to take“ Overall, Taylor sums it all up perfectly: “I’ve been comfortable in this household for 17 years and I’m ready to see what being uncomfortable brings me to.”