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The weather is warming, summertime is just around the corner and that means it’s almost time for Canes Baseball.
Canes National 17U will once again feature some of the top players in the country from coast to coast. From the sunny shores of Miami to the beautiful Pacific Coast of California, the Canes will put a highly-competitive and highly-skilled roster of players on the diamond for three tournaments this summer.
As we count down the weeks to the start of the summer, which will begin in North Carolina at the USA Baseball Complex on June 13, let’s get to know the position players.
One of our longest-tenured players is Gavin Gallaher (Apex, N.C./Pro5 Academy), who is entering his seventh summer with Canes Baseball. A commitment to the University of North Carolina, the middle infielder has a great perspective on what it’s like to be a part of the organization.
“This summer I am most looking forward to getting to see all my teammates again and meeting the new guys. These are people that have been my best friends for years now and getting to build on those relationships and make new ones is a lot of fun,” Gallaher said. “Being a part of the Canes organization has taught me a lot about how to play the game the right way as well as becoming a better person off the field. On the field it helps you develop because every game the other team is going to throw their best at you. Everyone wants to beat the Canes so you’re going to get everyone’s best.”
One of our stalwarts behind the plate is Campbell Smithwick (Oxford, Miss./Oxford HS). He’s another long-time member of Canes Baseball and is committed to play his college ball at Ole Miss.
“I am looking forward to hanging out with a lot of my friends that I don’t get to see any other time in the year and winning a ton of games with them,” Smithwick said. “Canes has helped me in every single way possible. From recruiting, to learning the game, to becoming a better teammate and person.”
Our monster on the roster is 6-foot-7, 225-pounder George Wolkow (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North HS). Wolkow, who is committed to play his college baseball at South Carolina, can play either of the corner infield positions or in the corner outfield as well.
“My most memorable moment was playing in the Geico Summer Series event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because we won the tournament. I was playing up with the 2022 class and hit a go ahead two-RBI double in the championship game. This event was very fun and we played great as a team,” Wolkow said. “I am looking forward to traveling from Cary to Miami with the team and playing in the two tournaments in part with that trip. It will be a great time bonding with the team. The long bus ride is an experience to remember.”
Middle infielder Kevin McGonigle (Glenolden, Pa./Monsignor Bonner HS) was a part-time player for Canes Baseball last year, but he’ll be with us full-time in 2022. A commitment to Auburn University, the left-handed hitter is ready to spend each week with the Canes this summer.
“I am very excited to meet some new guys on the squad and go win a lot of ball games with the team,” McGonigle said. “Last year I played some tournaments with the Canes and it was great experience. It just showed me another level of baseball and very good competition which made me work harder.”
One of the more versatile players on the roster is Tommy Roldan (Poolsville, Md./Georgetown Prep), who can play in the outfield or first base, and will also see action on the mound. The left-hander is committed to play his college baseball at Virginia and is ready to build upon the team’s Perfect Game World Series win last summer.
“My most memorable moment with the Canes is winning the PG World Series at the end of our 16U summer season,” Roldan said. “We had just come back from a tough loss at WWBA and we hadn’t started the season too hot either. When we won that tournament, it showed our teams resilience throughout the season and the capability we had.”
One of several newcomers is outfielder Jonny Farmelo (Centreville, Va./Westfield HS), who is in his first year with the Canes. A commitment to home state University of Virginia, the left-handed hitter joined the organization because of the success he’s seen on the field from the Canes.
“I decided to join Canes because of the success the team had in the past as well as the talent on the team,” Farmelo said. “I’m looking forward to traveling with the boys all summer. I love the warm weather down south where our tournaments are played and enjoy time off the field almost as much as on. I’m also looking forward to winning.”
Back again for one more go with the Canes is corner infielder Ryan Jaros (Cranford, N.J./Cranford). Likely to spend most of his time at third base, Jaros has felt the effect of playing for the Canes both on the field and off of it. The right-handed hitting slugger is committed to play at Georgia Tech.
“The Canes have helped me develop a ton as a player. They help you with the mental side of baseball, and the correct way to play. However, most importantly they teach you how to grow into a better man,” Jaros said. “Seeing the resume Canes has, and the alumni who have come out of Canes is something no other program has. Next, the premier coaching staff they offer is something no baseball player trying to play at the next level can pass up on.”
Teaming up with Smithwick to handle the catching duties this summer is Macon Winslow (Hertford, N.C./Pro5 Academy). A commitment to Duke University, Winslow is most looking forward to testing his skills against some of the best players and teams in the country.
“My favorite part about this summer is going to be able to compete against the best competition every day. Every team is trying to beat us and we’re going to see their best. It’s going to be a fun summer playing against the best of the best,” Winslow said. “The Canes history of winning made me want to join the program. Seeing all of the National Championships this team has won in the past pushed me to be a part of this at a young age. Playing at the highest level of travel baseball also plays a big part in it.”
Back for his second season with the Canes is outfielder Evan Haeger (New Hudson, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central HS). A commitment to University of Alabama, he’s ready to recreate the magic the team had last summer in the PG World Series.
“My most memorable moment with the Canes was winning the 16U World Series last year,” Haeger said. “We were playing our best baseball at the right time and ended the summer the right way with the win. It was good to go home from the summer with a good win like that.”
Also back for his second season with the Canes is first baseman Zach Wadas (Phoenix, Ariz./Hamilton HS). The sweet-swinging lefty, committed to Texas Christian University, could also see some action in a corner outfield spot.
“Canes Baseball has developed me as a ballplayer by improving my baseball IQ, encouraging me to grow as a teammate, and by giving me the opportunity to compete with the best players in the country all summer,” Wadas said. “Additionally, during my one year with Canes, I had some of the best coaching of my life, which played a huge role in our success. The experiences I have had with Canes are phenomenal and no program is better.”
Making his full-time debut with the Canes is infielder Roch Cholowsky (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton HS), who is high school teammates with Wadas. A commitment to UCLA, Cholowsky will see most of his time in the middle infield.
“I’m looking forward to getting to play for the best team in the country alongside some of the best players in the country,” Cholowsky said. “I’m also looking forward to being able to travel and play in some of the parts of the country that I’ve never been to.”
Also on the Canes’ roster for the summer are infielder Trent Caraway, outfielder Owen Martin and utility player Josh Tiedemann.
Canes National 17U will open the summer on June 13 at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C. in the USA Baseball 17U Championships.