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Macon Bacon player gets pleasant surprise from his no. 1 fan

Irene Hastings says she told her son Nate Styles she was going on a business trip. Instead, she drove 13 hours from Illinois to see him play Friday for the Macon Bacon/Claudia Coco (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Nate Styles -- no. 26 for the Macon Bacon -- got a sweet surprise before he walked into Luther Williams Field Friday to play his first home game.

"We turned down the aisle and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, that's my mom,'" he said. "Right in front of us!"

A freshman at the Air Force Academy, Styles was worried he wasn't going to get to spend a lot of time with his mom Irene Hastings.

"She really is my biggest fan," he says. "She's always there for me."

Hastings says she told Styles she was going on a business trip. Instead, she drove 13 hours from Illinois to see him play.

"I'm really glad I was able to do it," Styles said. "I am fortunate enough that I have a job that when everybody's gone in my department, that I can take time. And I was really glad I was able to take time."

Hastings says she loves to watch Styles play, but it's even more special to know he represents the U.S. Air Force.

"It's a little bit overwhelming actually," Hastings says. "It's hard to put it in perspective because he's our first military in our family. It kind of all fell in his lap, but I couldn't be prouder of him."

Hastings says she knows Styles is going to do a great job.

"I just tell him to go out there and have a good time," she said. "And he usually kills it."

Styles says his mom just overcame breast cancer. Every time he plays, he plays for her.

"Having her in the stands, especially here this far from Illinois, it's pretty big to have her supporting me," he says. "Because I know no matter what -- if I look out there -- that no matter what I'll have at least one fan cheering me on even if I am doing bad."

Styles will be with the Macon for three weeks before he has to head back to the Air Force Academy for school and survival training.

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