A competitive drive to be the best he could be has paid off for Newmarket baseball player Isaac Duva.
The 18-year-old Newmarket Titans player has signed a contract to play for the Erie Community College Kats baseball team in New York State next fall.
The Bradford native is a versatile player on the 18U Titans team, who has played five different positions this past season, including second base, third base, left field, right field and pitcher.
"It was definitely a very exciting feeling to be able to take my first stepping stone into playing at the next level," he said.
Duva only started playing seven years ago after being coaxed into baseball by his older brother.
"One day I was really bored and I just said, sure why not, so I went out with him and then I instantly fell in love with (baseball)," he said.
Once he realized he had a natural talent for the sport, he started playing even more.
"That competitive drive in me, I just wanted to become the best that I could at it, and work toward that every day, that's just the fun of it for me," he said.
Since then, Duva has been working hard, taking his game to elite levels, having been recruited to play on the Canadian Premier Baseball League's Titans Baseball Club in Newmarket two years ago.
"I tried out for them, they liked me and said they wanted to sign me to play with them," he explained.
After researching some of the college baseball programs out there, Duva took an interest in Erie Community College and connected with them to learn more about their team and program.
"I really liked it, they were very beneficial for development, that was intriguing to me," he said.
One of the representatives from the college then contacted one of Duva's coaches from the Titans to request video footage of Duva's gameplay and stats, before pre-signing him onto the team last month.
Duva will attend college for the two-year health and wellness promotion program while playing baseball starting in the fall.
"I have always been interested, as an athlete, how my body works and understanding why my body does what it does, how movements can benefit me in different ways," he said of his program choice.
Once Duva graduates, his main goal is to transfer to a higher division school, for a better chance at getting into the big leagues one day.
"I can go down there and I immediately have a chance to play and compete for a starting position," he said.
As a backup plan, he will take his education in health and wellness and work in the physiotherapy or personal training field.
Duva credits his experience with the Titans in helping him obtain a position on the U.S. college baseball team.
"The Titans played a huge role in developing me in becoming the player I am, and just helping me contact colleges," he said.
He is thankful for the support from his family, friends, girlfriend and teammates for helping him achieve his goals so far.
Duva plans to work the rest of the year to save up money and continue his baseball training before packing up and heading south in the fall.