Rain impacts attendance at sixth Knights Cup

Goals were aplenty in the five collegiate lacrosse games played at Knoxville Catholic High School 

By Dan McWilliams

Rain hampered attendance both days at the sixth Knights Cup Lacrosse Tournament on Feb. 9-10 at Knoxville Catholic High School, but those who came to Blaine Stadium saw 125 goals scored in five collegiate games played over the weekend.

Knights of Columbus Council 5207 at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus sponsors the event, which benefits the Pregnancy Help Centers of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee.

“The relentless rain over the weekend certainly impacted attendance, but under the circumstances we were dealing with, we did have a respectable crowd,” said event coordinator Tom Ciaccia of the Sacred Heart Knights. “The Knights Cup was a great success from an event organization and management standpoint. The five college games on the schedule were all played—most of the games were highly competitive and exciting for the fans who were there. The middle school jamboree was well attended, and everyone seemed to have enjoyed the experience.”

The total money raised from the Knights Cup brought the all-time total to some $58,000 in six events.

“We’re still paying the final bills and calculating the numbers, but it looks like the event will come in at about $8,000,” Mr. Ciaccia said several days after the Knights Cup. “That is well below what was projected considering the extensive promotional efforts we engaged in and the unique opportunity to showcase this increasingly popular sport at a high level, but given the impact of the weather, it will be considered a success.”

The tournament had two not-so-close games to begin the action Feb. 9. William Penn University easily bested Tennessee Wesleyan University 20-5. In the nightcap, defending NAIA champion Keiser University  outscored Missouri Baptist University by an 11-3 count. The Seahawks of Keiser began the season ranked No. 1 in the NAIA.

Three games took place Feb. 10 at KCHS. Tennessee Wesleyan walloped Missouri Baptist 23-8 to open the day’s competition. The game of the tournament was the second Saturday contest, which saw Keiser edge William Penn 13-12 in overtime. That gave the Seahawks their ninth straight win. The college action concluded with the University of Alabama at Huntsville topping Lincoln Memorial University 16-14.

“Overall, the games were hard-fought and competitive,” Mr. Ciaccia said. “These were very good teams we were able to bring to Knoxville. William Penn is their conference champion. Alabama-Huntsville and Lincoln Memorial compete at the NCAA Division II level. So, the Knights Cup brought a high level of lacrosse competition to Knoxville. It’s very unfortunate that the weather prevented so many people from experiencing this unique event.”

An all-day youth jamboree was held on day two of the Knights Cup.

“Nine middle school teams from Knoxville, Cookeville, Kingston, and Johnson City participated in the instructional preseason jamboree,” Mr. Ciaccia said.

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