Ashburn, Va. – Briar Woods High School rising senior George Rosales has made a commitment to continue his baseball career at Fairleigh Dickinson University starting in the 2018-2019 school year.
“At the end of my freshman year, I realized that I wanted to play Division I baseball, and I worked ever since in order to achieve that goal,” the 5-foot-10 Rosales said. “It feels great to have it all pay off, but I am very far from done. Nothing is promised, and my senior year as well as my entire college career are still ahead of me. I need to continue to work hard to achieve the goals that I have set for myself to be successful during my last year at Briar Woods and my four years at FDU.”
Rosales and the Falcons have a tall task in living up to their successful 2017 campaign in 2018.
After clobbering Halifax County High School in the VHSL 5A North region championship in Ashburn, Briar Woods travelled to Fairfax to once again tango with the Comets, this time for the 2017 VHSL 5A state championship.
In the bottom half of the 14th inning, Briar Woods senior Sean Clark drove a walkoff single up the middle, as Clark, Rosales and the rest of Falcons ended their season on top for the first time in school history.
“It was awesome to be a part of a state championship team, and it still hasn’t sunk in yet. That was a goal of ours from the start, and we worked hard to achieve it,” said Rosales, who starts at catcher for the Falcons. “It is awesome to have been able to make history playing for an awesome school. We had lots of support from our students and fans this year, and it was pretty cool to see all of them rooting for us to bring that trophy back home.”
After winning the VHSL 5A state championship in 2017, Rosales hopes to lead the Falcons back to the VHSL 5A state tournament in his final year at Briar Woods.
“I have made many great friends playing at Briar Woods, and it feels great that I still have one more year to go,” Rosales said. “We have a good group this year and I am excited to start working hard together this fall!”
Following his final season in orange and navy, Rosales will don Fairleigh Dickinson’s red and blue as he travels to Teaneck, New Jersey.
In 2017, the Division I Knights finished 12-34 under seventh-year head coach Gary Puccio. In 2016, Puccio led Fairleigh Dickinson to its first season .500 or better since 1997 when the Knights finished 23-23-1 and won the Northeast Conference.
“My goal is to make a positive impact on the program the moment I step foot on campus. In order to do this as a freshman at FDU, I have to continue to work for that goal my entire senior year,” said Rosales, who plays travel for Marucci Stars Red. “I think that I will add another all around catcher to the FDU program, and I am excited to get there and learn even more about the culture of FDU baseball as well as what role I can play in order to improve the program.”
On top of the opportunity to play baseball for the Knights, Rosales chose Fairleigh Dickinson because of its academic reputation.
“The academics are great, and they will put me in a good position for the rest of my life after college,” Rosales said. “When I visited there, the coaches made me feel at home and recruited me not only as an athlete, but as a student as well, which showed me that the school and baseball program are very well rounded. The hard working culture that they expect as a student as well as an athlete is something that attracted me to FDU.”
A native of Ashburn, Rosales has grown up playing Little League, travel and high school baseball with some of his closest friends. But none stand out to Rosales as much as long time teammate Gavin Rupp, who passed away in the summer of 2013, after an inspiring battle with cancer.
“Gavin is a huge factor that motivates me every time I step on the baseball field. I play hard because I know that he is up above watching me play with the number 15 on my back,” Rosales said. “He gave it everything every single time he walked out on a baseball field, and he made me realize that next game isn’t promised to me. Gav left it all on the field while wearing #15, and I play every game hoping to do the same.”