Ryan George started his sophomore season as the number two starter for Seekonk in the spring of 2004. When Mike Menard went down with an injury, the hard throwing youngster became the ace of the Warrior pitching staff.
Branden George, Ryan's younger brother, may assume the same post for this year's Warrior baseball team. Coach Joe Demelo said last week that George has the most varsity experience on the mound of anyone on his roster. It's unclear who will be the number one pitcher for this team, but George is in the mix.
Fans certainly hope the Warriors can ride another George brother to the heights Ryan helped the team reach. When the elder George was a Junior, the team took an undefeated record to the sectional finals, one game away from the state title.
This was a new high for Seekonk baseball. "In all honesty we didn't really know how far it was going to take us! Seekonk baseball hadn't really done anything significant before, so we didn't know how good we were going to be," says Ryan George.
George's role in that season is difficult to overstate. He was "the guy" for that team, and he says it formed him as a person. George called it, "great practice" for becoming the closer at Holy Cross, a role that he filled for three years.
But now it's his brother's turn.
In a typical set up for a high school team, George will be one of three starters. Along with classmate Matt Foley and Senior Jack Kane, George will attempt to emerge as the preeminent pitcher on the staff. If his velocity is where it needs to be and he is comfortable with a secondary pitch (likely his change-up), George should be able to get hitters out consistently.
"Watching him have great success only pushed me to want to be just like that," says Branden looking back on his brother's career. "I can say that there was no better rush than watching him pitch in tight situations, and nowadays I understand just how much pressure he really fought through."
So does being compared to his brother irritate Branden? "Comparisons between us do not usually bother me," says Branden George. "It's pretty hard to stand up against such a successful career as my brothers, it only drives me to better myself at the game of baseball."
George says he has what it takes to help this team with his pitching this year, but as most good team players would, refused to talk about becoming the ace. "It's not a one man game and I know I have some great teammates behind me that will make the plays and have my back no matter what."