When the 2020 CPBL season comes to a close this July, Josh Niles will leave a program he played a big role in helping grow. After five years Niles will trade his red and black in for blue and gold at his next stop, Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.
Niles’ resume within the program is impressive; he was a member of the Great Lake Canadians inaugural 14U team in 2016 that recorded an undefeated regular season. In 2017, he would play an instrumental role in the GLC 15U team winning a CPBL Championship, and most recently last summer he helped the GLC 17U group win his second CPBL title. Niles has worked through the program from start to finish and continues to work hard as he prepares for the next level. Niles believes GLC staff was instrumental in helping him achieve the first of many goals;
Throughout my five years in the program the staff here at GLC have helped me immensely. From a developmental standpoint on the baseball side, to becoming a young man off the field.” Niles said. “They took me in like family and sculpted me into the baseball player I am today. The staff has held me accountable for mistakes made on the field and taught me how to play the game the right way. I will always be grateful for the five years I’ve spent in the program and will use lessons I’ve learned here for the remainder of my career and life.
Josh has developed into a very good baseball player, but off the field his commitment to academics has always been as impressive. With a school first mentality, Josh explains that along with finding a school that has had a strong product on the field, finding a strong academic institution was paramount in his recruiting process, “I made sure the school had the program that I wanted considering the importance and priority I put on my academics.” Niles said. “Also, a history of a winning atmosphere no matter what the level (D1, D2, D3, NAIA, JUCO)”
With the spring approaching quickly, Niles and his teammates are busy at work preparing for the upcoming season. With preparations underway for August, Josh can’t help but think ahead to what campus will be like this fall;
There are countless things I am excited for this upcoming fall at Canisius. From the camaraderie with new teammates, baseball day in and day out, to having a bit of freedom (and responsibility) as a result of living on your own. It’s impossible to not get better at the college level. You’re surrounded by ways to better yourself not only from a baseball perspective, but a classroom perspective as well and I am excited to see the gains I make on and off the field.
Adam Stern, Director of Player Development has worked with Josh through CFS for years before even suiting up for GLC. He has had a front seat to watching him grow up as a player and as a young man and feels he is ready for the next step of his career, “Josh has been a big part of the program for five years now. From the days he would come in and hit at CFS as a kid, it has been impressive to see him turn into a college baseball player. He’s found himself a great fit where he can go compete at the Division one level, something he has been working towards since he was 10.”
As the door is about to close on an impressive career here with GLC, Niles, the five-year Great Lake Canadian, leaves this guidance for those following in his path:
My biggest piece of advice for anyone, not just a younger GLC player is patience as well as “controlling the things you can control.” Not the type of patience where you sit back and let things sort themselves out, that’s how you get worse. The type of patience that requires maximum effort across all aspects of life, but not stressing about things because they aren’t happening at the rate in which you want them too. Put in maximum effort in the weight room, in practice, in the classroom, and in your relationships. Maximum effort across all areas will give you the results you’re looking for, just stay at it.