The event, taking the place of the baseball classic this year, will benefit child and family services provided through Catholic Charities
By Dan McWilliams
The first Knights Cup Lacrosse Tournament will be held Saturday, April 30, at Knoxville Catholic High School’s Blaine Stadium. The all-day event features a high school lacrosse quadruple-header as well as other activities sponsored by the Knights of Sacred Heart Cathedral and All Saints parishes.
The Knights of Columbus was unable to schedule its spring baseball classic this year, but the lacrosse event benefiting child and family services provided through Catholic Charities as well as other Knights of Columbus-sponsored charities will still make a spring classic possible.
Scheduling conflicts made the baseball event at Smokies Park a non-starter this year, said Knights Cup organizer Tom Ciaccia.
“We had a hard time lining up four acceptable teams that could play on the date that the Smokies made available to us,” he said. “Teams had their schedules set; a number of them were playing in out-of-town tournaments. We couldn’t pull it together, but we will be back at it again next year, just a one-year delay, in hosting what will be the 13th annual Fighting Irish Spring Classic.”
The baseball event has raised about $80,000 for Catholic Charities of East Tennessee’s Pregnancy Help Center over the years.
“They have been real successful,” Mr. Ciaccia said. “We’ve drawn some very impressive crowds out to Smokies Park for high school baseball. We’re putting that promotional prowess together behind lacrosse. We’re going to put a lot of people in the stands over at Knoxville Catholic on April 30.
“Rather than taking a year off from supporting Sandi Davidson and the tremendous work they do down at the Pregnancy Help Center, we took a step back and put a different event together.”
“Because I’ve been a rabid lacrosse fan for a long time, and I just thought this would be a good opportunity to put together a high school and youth lacrosse event that will involve as many players as possible in this first-of-its-kind event in Knoxville,” Mr. Ciaccia said. “The sport is not really well-known in this part of the country, but it is making some inroads. Another one or two high schools picks it up every year. There are some lacrosse youth programs springing up around the Knoxville area, so I thought we would take advantage of the year delay in the baseball event and put on a showcase event for lacrosse and get some people in the stands to see this great sport, which is the national (summer) sport of Canada.
“It’s known as ‘the fastest game on two feet.’ If anybody has not seen the game, we would encourage them to come out because they’ll be thrilled at the level of excitement that the lacrosse game produces.”
The Knights Cup will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a youth skills clinic and continue at 9:30 with a jamboree featuring middle school and local team games and contests.
At noon, the Roane County Knights will take on the West Knox Warriors in a varsity game. Next on the schedule, Christian Academy of Knoxville will face Christ Presbyterian Academy at 2:30 p.m. Roane County and West Knox will play a JV game at 4:30 p.m.
For the nightcap, host Knoxville Catholic will battle Farragut at 7 p.m.
Admission for adults is $6 at the gate, $5 if purchased in advance (by April 15), and $4 for advance group sales of 10 or more. Student tickets are $4 at the game, $3 in advance, and $2 for advance sales of 10 or more. Tickets are available by calling any of the participating schools. KCHS’s phone number is 865-560-0313.
Those wishing to sponsor the Knights Cup, advertise in the event program, or seek more information should contact Mr. Ciaccia at 865-765-4046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s going to be a big day,” he said. ■