While this weekend’s lacrosse event at Smith River Sports Complex was relatively small compared to others the complex typically hosts, SRSC Director of Operations and Marketing Houston Stutz said it was big in the grand scheme of the complex.
SRSC hosted about 40 middle and high school-aged lacrosse teams from North Carolina for the first major event at the complex since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Stutz and NC Fusion Director of Boys Lacrosse Ira Vanterpool both said this weekend’s tournament would serve as a blueprint for how to go about hosting youth sporting events in the time of COVID-19.
“It turned out to be a really good partnership and really good opportunity to know these people,” Stutz said. “And it worked out to where we were able to do it and do it safely so here we are. We’ve got a good number of teams out there at a good, safe distance and we’re finally getting people out on the field so that’s exciting for us.”
The complex had many safety protocols in place for players and spectators, and both Stutz and Vanterpool both said fans were fine with the protocols if it meant getting to play games while staying safe.
Other clubs sent directors to watch the event and see how the facility handled the safety protocols, Stutz said, and Vanterpool said he’s already spoken with Stutz about bringing teams to the complex for yearly events
“We’re excited. The facilities are immaculate. They do a really good job with the grounds. It’s a beautiful place,” Vanterpool said. ““We’re really excited about how things have gone… It’s fun. They’re having a great time. It’s enjoyable. We’re excited to be out here and we have a lot of gratitude to Henry County and SRSC for allowing us to do this.”
“We think we’ve got things pretty down pat but you always learn things whether you’ve been doing this one year or 20 years,” Stutz said. “That’s another exciting thing too just making sure we do everything because it could lead to more opportunities for Martinsville and the sports complex.”
About 20 high school-aged teams will be back at SRSC on Sunday.
Cara Cooper is the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at (276)638-8801 ext. 241.
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