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Photograph provided by: Forest City Owls

Enthusiasm and excitement abound as the 2017 season opener draws near. Designated as the 4th Best Collegiate Summer Stadium in America in 2016, McNair field is primed and ready for an action packed summer of baseball sure to fulfill every baseball lover's dreams. New decks, ticket packages, souvenirs, and promotional events are in keeping with the tradition of providing excellent entertainment and quality ballgames for Forest City and Rutherford County.

"This year will have many firsts for the Owls. We are returning six players (pictured below) from last year's second half Western Division Champs, we have built two new structures in the beer garden, (one is a deck for better viewing while enjoying refreshments and the other is the addition of 10 new pub tables on a second deck), and we are offering an entirely new group of souvenir Owls hats, t-shirts and accessories" says owner Phil Dangel. "Last, and probably most important, we have a new coach, Matt Reed, who joins us from Greensboro College. Further, we have added Senior Citizen games at great prices mid-week all season as well as a Splash-Day noon game, Faith Night, and a Father's Day night game. Our season literally jumps off with parachutists on Military Night Memorial Day evening, the Children of Fallen Heroes Brigade who will deliver the first ball, and a visit from our mayor. The next night starts the CPL season against our rivals, the Savannah Banana's, with a 'Smash The Bananas' t-shirt giveaway. We are ready...we are excited." concludes Dangel.

New Head Coach Matt Reed is just as enthusiastic. "We're very excited with the group we have coming in this summer. We have a very versatile roster with a lot of guys who can play a lot of different positions so it adds flexibility to the roster. Pitching wise, we have good mix of guys with power stuff and some who just fill up the zone. Overall, I like our team and think with our staff we'll be able to have success day-in and day- out." Reed, who will be assisted by Jimmy Correnti and Craig Bolton, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team.

"I'm really excited for the 2017 season." Minority owner, Rob Frost, tells us as he also enters his second year with the owls. "Everyone has worked very hard to give Forest City, Rutherford County and the entire area a fun time at McNair Field. The Owls are fielding a really good team this year. We have some new all-you-can-eat packages that are really easy on the budget and our team store will have some new t-shirts that show Forest City and North Carolina pride. We'll also have some newly designed baseball caps for as little as $9.99. This summer, the Owls can't be beat for providing entertainment and baseball at a great price!"

And, if that's not enough to get you to the ticket office, the fact that four of the fine young men that will be on McNair field are home grown. John Bennett from Forest City, Alec Bivins from Lawndale, Ethan Stewart from Bostic and Conner Dailey from Rutherfordton are representing our baseball loving community with pride, giving us all reason enough to get out to the game. Go Owls!

Everything you need to know about the 2017 Forest City Owls including the schedule of games can be found at www. forestcitybaseball.com

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