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Lights Installed At Apex School In Memory Of Former Star

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APEX, N.C. — It may not be the major leagues, but it is a major event for the players at Middle Creek High School to play at after dark. It's the rush of cool night air, the enthusiastic crowd and the fluorescent glow that reminds them their dreams are in reach.

"I think playing under the lights gives them a chance to play out their dreams," said former player Nick Morrison.

They may be artificial lights, but there is a big ray of sunshine behind these lights. His name is Grant Ringenberg. Ringenberg, a former Middle Creek player, was beaten to death at Charleston Southern University last November. No. 23 on the field, he was all about baseball and always wanted to see lights at his alma mater.

"He loved the attention, he loved being out on the mound, he loved the crowd here and the excitement," said Middle Creek athletic director Mike Matthews.

"He always joked that when he got his multi-million dollar contract and then he was going to buy Middle Creek some lights," said Morrison. And in a way, he did. After Ringenberg's death, his family, friends and his father's employer, Caterpillar, raised $92,000 to make the dream a reality.

"I think they wanted to honor him. Everybody realized this was a tragedy that happened to him everybody is looking for some good to come all out of this," said Gary Ringenberg, Grant's father.

And if the spirits of the Middle Creek team are any indication, nothing is going to dim their light.

"I'm sure somewhere Grant's got this big old smile on his face and shaking his head, 'Yup, they did it, they got it done," said Gary Ringenberg.

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