The Old North State League (ONSL) continues to grow as its third season gets underway. Twelve teams are competing this year, including the Appalachian Moonshiners and the Lenoir Legends.
A summer collegiate baseball league based solely in North Carolina, the ONSL was established in 2018 and played its first season in 2019. The Triad Tribe won the inaugural league championship, while the Guilford Lumberkings took the crown in 2020.
Current teams in the ONSL include the Moonshiners, Legends, Brunswick Surfin Turfs, Deep River Muddogs , Fayetteville Chutes, High Point Hushpuppies, Lexington Flying Pigs, Mocksville Muscadines, Oak City Gliders, Reidsville Luckies, Sanford Spinners and Swepsonville Sweepers.
Pete Hardee, who serves as the head baseball coach at Alexander Central High, is the head coach for the Moonshiners. He has won nearly 450 games in his high school coaching career, and has led the Cougars’ baseball program since July 2015.
The head coach of the Legends is Brendan Emery, a Winston-Salem native who graduated from East Forsyth High before playing college baseball at Mars Hill University. Emery also previously played for the Lenoir Oilers of the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League, which is no longer in existence.
Appalachian and Lenoir both have several local players on their rosters, but they also have players from other states. According to Moonshiners co-owners David and Jennifer Foster, the team is still searching for interns for the 2021 season, and more information can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.appmoonshinersbaseball.com.
Businesses interested in sponsoring a Legends game can email Emery at email@example.com. Lenoir’s full schedule, along with schedules and additional information about the other teams in the ONSL, can be found by visiting www.oldnorthstateleague.com.
The Moonshiners visit the Legends in both teams’ inaugural regular-season contest on Sunday at Walker Stadium in Lenoir. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
Lenoir will play all of its home games at Walker Stadium, while Appalachian will play its home games at Alexander Central High.
Josh McKinney is the sports editor for the Hickory Daily Record.