By Samantha Robson ’12
WINCHESTER, Va. – As we enjoy nice cold January weather here in the northern Shenandoah Valley, Greg Van Sickler ’11 is continuing his baseball career in beautiful 90-degree weather. He lives two minutes from the Indian Ocean and hears ‘Gidday’ on a daily basis.
Can anyone guess where he is?
Yes, Greg is in Australia!
The three-time All-America headed ‘down under’ on October 2nd for another opportunity to play baseball. This opportunity comes on the heels of his experience this summer playing baseball in Belgium.
Greg originally went to Australia to play for the Carine Cats, a State (minor) League team.
At the beginning of December, Van Sickler signed with the Perth Heat, a professional team in the top-level ABL (Australian Baseball League). He had the opportunity to pitch against them in a State League All Star game and did well, so the Heat invited him to pitch for them.
He still plays for the Cats on Sundays, but has added Heat games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
While many people may see this as a baseball vacation, Greg works really hard!
In addition to his baseball duties, Greg was set up with a well-paying job delivering cabinets all over Perth from 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
He also coaches a little league team two days a week.
As if he isn’t busy enough, Van Sickler is an assistant coach for a U12 charter team that is competing to go to the Little League World Series here in the US. If they win in Australia they get an automatic bid to the annual tournament.
Next summer, Greg could be on ESPN with that team!
Greg is scheduled to return home to America at the end of March, but since he has a working visa that lasts until October, he has the option to stay longer.
“It’s been a trip of a lifetime.” Van Sickler said. ” Of course I miss my home and everyone back in Winchester, but I am certainly enjoying the time I have while I have it.”