PAINTING THE TOWN RHETT: Lowder provides inspiration in more ways than baseball

Rhett Lowder’s journey as a baseball player began right here in Stanly County. He played on the same Little League team as my brother, Hayden, at a very young age.

As years passed Rhett began to write his legacy at North Stanly High School, where I, Rylan Furr, now attend as a junior. What sets Rhett apart is not only his natural talent but also his unwavering hard work and dedication to get where he is today.

Many of you may know, Rhett was drafted seventh pick in the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft. These accomplishments and achievements represent exactly what Rhett has worked for.

But what makes Rhett truly special is the way he carries himself on and off the field. He is not only an exceptional athlete, but also a very humbled and inspirational individual. Whenever he steps onto the mound, he exudes a sense of passion and determination that is contagious.

Rhett’s positive attitude and the way he plays the game have earned him the respect and admiration of many throughout our community, and now beyond our little town.

Rhett Lowder stopped by North Stanly High recently to sign a mural completed by junior Rylan Furr. (Contributed)

I wanted to pay tribute to the person that teachers reference, coaches use as an example and parents (including my own) hold in the highest regard. Sitting in my Advance Studio Art class, I sat staring at a large blank wall in a separate room off from the main class.

While brainstorming my next project, it dawned on me that I sat in the same room where Rhett had spent many hours of his four years at North Stanly, an art student himself; envisioning, creating and discovering his artistic potential.

I shared my thoughts and reasons with Mr. Fike, my art teacher at the time, and he agreed, I had to paint this mural (pictured). As a novice artist, with only 2 ½ years experience, I was excited, but nervous to attempt such a project.

As a baseball player myself, I knew that I wanted to try and convey an image that would show how Rhett has provided me with a love for the game which I did not know I had.

Watching Rhett pitch is an art in itself; with each pitch a stroke adding movement to the overall masterpiece of the game, paired with his comportment off the field adds even more amazing color to his panorama.

I have always looked up to Rhett as a role model, not only as a player but as a person as well. Rhett’s success in baseball has brought recognition to our small town, putting us on the map in the world of sports. But what truly makes him a hero is his ability to inspire others and instill a sense of determination and hope in the hearts of younger children. He shows them that no dream is too big, and with passion and dedication, they too can achieve greatness.

Rhett embodies the essence of a small-town hero. His extraordinary talent, unwavering dedication and remarkable character make him an inspiration to everyone around him.

Through his achievements in baseball and his selfless commitment to the community, Rhett has left an indelible mark on our town.

Rylan Furr is a junior at North Stanly High School.