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Lacrosse tournament caps busy stretch at Smith River Sports Complex
A player from Chapel Hilltoppers (22) shoots at the goal guarded by the Knucklehead team in a high school division match Saturday during the Cardinal Cup Fall Classic lacrosse tournament at the Smith River Sports Complex. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
There were no soccer balls Saturday at the Smith River Sports Complex, but there were still plenty of goals.
The Cardinal Cup Fall Classic — an Old North State club lacrosse tournament — returned to the Martinsville and Henry County area for the second time this year, and with it came 28 teams and a host of parents and spectators.
The SRSC had to open up an additional parking area to accommodate all the vehicles — including one Winnebago — and play raged on across five fields from 9 a.m. until sundown.
“It’s a good thing to see for sure, to see it all filled up,” said Billy Russo, director of operations at the complex.
And for Russo, it’s good to see the complex being used successfully for a sport other than soccer.
While the SRSC has used past two weekends to host large-scale soccer tournaments, the complex has been diversifying its offerings over the past several years.
Russo said the SRSC has five lacrosse tournaments on the schedule for next year in addition to a few other mainstays.
“That’s a step in the right direction,” Russo said of the additional lacrosse events for next season. “With Ultimate Frisbee and football, tee ball, field hockey and everything else we’re trying to do, this is another sport we’re trying to get as many events into the complex as possible to make people realize that we can utilize this space in different ways.”
This weekend’s Cardinal Cup Fall Classic involves U11, U13, U15 and U18 club lacrosse teams, and the tournament will wrap up play today to determine champions for each division.
The teams mostly hail from North Carolina – a large section of squads are from the cities of Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham – but teams from the Roanoke area also came down as well.
No teams from the Martinsville and Henry County area are participating.
This weekend’s lacrosse tournament caps a busy stretch for the SRSC, as the complex has hosted events three weekends in a row.
The USA South men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball tournaments were held Nov. 3-4, the 64-team Piedmont Shootout took place Nov. 9-10, and the lacrosse tournament is going on this weekend.
Russo estimated that including teams, parents and other spectators, a total of around 8,000 people visited the complex during the last three weekends.
Mark and Kathy Goldsmith, the tournament’s directors, plan to host two lacrosse tournaments at the SRSC next year, Russo said.