Knights Cup Lacrosse event features NCAA action

Host Knoxville Catholic High School is one of many teams taking the field at this year’s third annual tournament

By Dan McWilliams

The third annual Knights Cup Lacrosse Tournament, featuring the debut of NCAA lacrosse in the city, will be held on Saturday, April 21, at Knoxville Catholic High School’s Blaine Stadium.

The event starts at 8 a.m. and features 17 games at the youth, middle school, high school, and collegiate levels. The Knights Cup is sponsored by Knoxville-area Knights of Columbus councils to benefit charitable endeavors in the diocese that help children and families.

“We are excited to be hosting what is clearly the most ambitious of the 15 major athletic events the Knights have promoted to support child and family assistance programs throughout our diocese,” said Knights Cup organizer Tom Ciaccia. “The feature attraction is the first NCAA lacrosse game ever played in Knoxville. Lincoln Memorial University and Davis & Elkins College will take the field at 12:30 p.m. in this history-making game. LMU and D&E play at the highly competitive Division II level of the NCAA.”

Three high school games and 13 youth and middle school games, plus youth skills clinics and contests, round out the day’s events. Collierville High School from West Tennessee will take on the West Knox Warriors at 10 a.m. Signal Mountain and the Roane County Knights will battle at 5 p.m. Host Knoxville Catholic will face off against Christian Academy of Knoxville at 7:30 p.m.

“If you have seen lacrosse before, you know what a fast-paced, hard hitting, and action-packed game it is,” Mr. Ciaccia said. “If you come out to watch lacrosse for the first time, you will see why it is the fastest-growing sport in the Knoxville area and across the country. Every year, more high schools add lacrosse to their athletic programs in response to its growing popularity.

“There has been such an explosion in lacrosse at the youth level, we had to add John Tarleton Field to this year’s Knights Cup to accommodate all the youth teams that have sprung up and wanted to participate in the area’s premier lacrosse event.”

Mr. Ciaccia said the Knights Cup “has become the most unique lacrosse event anywhere in the country.”

“It is the only event that puts youth, middle school, high school, and college lacrosse under one banner,” he said.

The Knights Cup “is a great family-friendly event that would make a great outing for youth groups and parish ministries to enjoy as a group experience,” he added.

Information on advanced group discount tickets and on becoming a Knights Cup sponsor or game program advertiser can be found at www.knightscup.org or by contacting Mr. Ciaccia at 865-765-4046 or tciaccia@att.net.

Tickets are $10 for adults ($8 in advance) and $7 each for a group of 10, or $6 for students ($4 in advance) and $3 each for a group of 10.

The athletic events the Knights have promoted going back to 2004 have raised more than $100,000 to assist children and families in need of the wide range of support services the diocese provides through Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. The first two Knights Cup tourneys raised close to $20,000, which was directed to projects that supported child, pregnancy, and family-assistance services at Catholic Charities throughout East Tennessee and to a special Knights of Columbus outreach initiative to homeless families in Knoxville.

“We encourage everyone in our community to come out to Blaine Stadium on April 21 and enjoy a great day of spirited competition,” Mr. Ciaccia said. “Tickets are inexpensive, are good for all games on a come- and go-as-you-please basis, and will go a long way in helping families in our community. We are hoping for a big Knights Cup crowd because our ability to continue bringing college games to Knoxville will be impacted by this year’s success.”

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