Country music loving school official wins Mitch Rossell concert at Canton South High

Country music loving school official wins Mitch Rossell concert at Canton South High

Brett Yeagley recalls the moment country music artist Mitch Rossell asked those in the audience of 50,000 fans at a Garth Brooks concert to enter a contest with a chance to win a backyard show by the opening act.

Seated in the fifth row on one side of the stage at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo, the Canton Local Schools superintendent was having a blast even before the iconic Brooks took the stage. That included when Rossell gave Yeagley’s daughter a guitar pick.

More:Garth Brooks songwriter Mitch Rossell says Canton South concert is ‘going to be amazing’

Through a QR code scanned into his cellphone, the local school official joined other fans in entering the contest. Brooks gave a rousing performance, and weeks passed as the 41-year-old Yeagley returned to his life in Stark County. With so many fans at the show, he didn’t like his odds of winning the contest.

Then came a surprise phone call from Rossell, who has been holding a series of backyard concerts for contest winners this year.

“Yeah, hey, it’s Mitch, actually, Brett,” Rossell said. “How are you doing?”

“Mitch, hey, how are you?” Yeagley responded excitedly.

“I’m good, man, I’m good,” Rossell said while smiling in a video of the call posted on Instagram. “I was just calling you to say hello and tell you that you won the backyard concert.”

“Are you serious?” Yeagley said.

“I’m serious, man,” Rossell answered.

“Oh my gosh, that is awesome!” Yeagley enthused.

Finishing the conversation, Rossell beamed another grin before laughing over some small talk. “Great talking to you, looking forward to hanging out with you, and playing some music for you.”

© Larry McCormack /
Garth Brooks performs “Ask Me How I Know” with Mitch Rossell, who co-wrote the song, during the CMA Awards Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

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Yeagley’s story only gets better.

In addition to a private show at Yeagley’s home on Saturday with his friends and family, Rossell also will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Canton South High School, 600 Faircrest St. SE in Canton Township. Tickets are $20 for the public concert, and can be purchased online at or by calling school offices at 330-484-8010.

Rossell at Canton South ‘is going to be a great night’

A diehard country music fan, Yeagley has seen Rossell open for Brooks at least five times. He’s seen Brooks in concert 18 times.

“To me, there’s nothing much better than live entertainment,” Yeagley said. “I love concerts, and being there live and having an opportunity for $20 to be right here in our community. (Rossell) always puts on a great show, and he’s able to command a stage in front of 50,000 people.”

Rossell proved that at a Brooks concert in 2017 in Cincinnati.

“Mitch came out … and by the end of the three songs he earned a full standing ovation,” Yeagley said. “I saw Mitch take a crowd that didn’t know who he was, and in three songs, had a standing ovation from 20,000 people.”

“To have him in a 900-seat auditorium is going to be a great night,” he added. “He puts on a great performance. You don’t get many opportunities (for country music shows) in Stark County. We’re very excited to see someone as talented as Mitch.”

A total of 115 tickets have been purchased by local sponsors and made available for free to Canton Local students. A pre-sale made tickets available first for students and staff and their families, Yeagley said.

Rossell is donating $5 from each ticket sold to upgrade the Performing Arts Center.

“We are extremely grateful for that,” the superintendent said.

Yeagley is excited for both shows.

“We’re going to have a small get-together at our house, but I think this Friday night concert is going to be something really special,” he said.

“Hopefully, this concert with Mitch is the start of something we can do to bring people into Canton Township and then into Canton Local Schools,” Yeagley added. “Our community’s blessed us with a great facility, and we want to make sure it’s utilized.”

Reach Ed at 330-580-8315 and

On Twitter @ebalintREP

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Country music loving school official wins Mitch Rossell concert at Canton South High

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