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River Park Eagles looking to soar at the Firecracker Tournament

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:15 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -The River Park Eagles call Sacramento, Calif, home but the team has played in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and now they can check South Dakota off their list.

“We were shocked. We were really surprised but really excited to come out and play at a different venue,” Todd Malone, Father of an Eagle’s player, says

“I instantly looked up the field, looked amazing. I was so excited. Especially to come to South Dakota it will be a great experience,” Zack Malone, River Park player

While Fitzgerald Stadium and the Hills may be a new sight for the Malone’s, that’s not the case for the Eagle’s coach.

“We lived in Brookings, for four years so I used to come to this tournament and recruit it when I was the head coach at South Dakota State,” Reggie Christiansen, Head Coach of River Park, says

After games, the Eagles switch roles, from fans and players to tourists with their sights set on popular destinations,

“We were thinking of things to do in South Dakota” continued Zack, “Mt. Rushmore was the top of the list,”

" I think that is important at this age for these kids to have memories with each other and experience other things,” Christiansen

“In the fourth inning, all the parents in our group were talking about all the things we can check out.” added Todd, “Love history, a great place to come,”

And although their trip to the Black Hills will only last five days, the Northern California team will leave with a lifetime. Including the revamped Fitzgerald stadium.

“This would be a top 5 college baseball park in California.” continued Christiansen, ”This is as good as it gets,”

And the tradition the Hardhats carry on,

“When we walked away from this last night. We spoke to the GM about the history of the field and players and everything. I literally got chills as we left the stadium. It was awesome,” Todd Malone

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