Shootout For Soldiers Coming to Utah in August
01.25.2017 - By Tim Haslam

Shootout for Soldiers will be holding its event on August 4-5, 2017 at the University of Utah.

I have heard of this event before, but never looked into it further. I figured it was just another tournament for kids to play in front of coaches, but, after talking with Stephen Hughes (the organizer of the Utah event), I realized this is an awesome event and we’re lucky to have it come to Utah.

TH: What is your background? lacrosse background?
SH: I grew up in Utah and started playing lacrosse at Alta High in 1999 back when there were only a handful of teams. I graduated in 2001 and then played at Utah State in 2001 and then again from 2004-2007. After I graduated from Utah State in 2008 I was commissioned an officer in the Army and I’ve been on active duty since then. I did 4 years in Washington state with a deployment to southern Iraq. During this time I coached a 7th grade lacrosse team in University Place, Washington along with a few other Soldiers I recruited with lacrosse backgrounds. In 2012 I was transferred to Ft. Lee, Virginia for military schooling and then transferred to Germany for four years with a deployment to Afghanistan. I’m now attending the University of Utah for my MBA while still on active duty.

TH: Why are you involved in Shootout for Soldiers?
SH: I love being able to be involved with the sport I love and help my fellow veterans at the same time. I have been following Shootout for Soldiers ever since I had a fellow Army officer move from Germany to Boston and become the organizer for Boston in 2015. After moving back to Utah I was able to see the incredible growth here first hand. Driving by middle schools I saw six lacrosse goals sitting out on the field. I also learned that sport had grown at the high school level to include 40 teams on the girls and boys side. In addition it has spread all the way down to the elementary school level. With all of this in mind I knew I had to submit a bid and luckily we were accepted as one of the four expansion locations for 2017.

TH: What should fans/players/parents in Utah know about Shootout for Soldiers?
SH: Shootout for Soldiers is open to both male and female players of all ages from the masters level all the way down to brand new lacrosse players at the elementary school level. The event is going to be held at the brand new McCarthy Field up at the University of Utah. They should also know this is going to be so much more than just 24 hours of lacrosse on a field. There is going to be live music, great food trucks, vendors, great raffles and silent auctions. This will also be an event for the community to come and connect with veterans and current military in the area, there will be static displays and representatives from each of the charities that are benefiting from the event.

This is not a tournament so it’s non-competitive, each team will either be stars or stripes and the score will be cumulative with an overall winner declared at the end of the 24 hours. There are some great games planned to include the veteran’s game that will kick off the 24 hours as well as a father and sons game, and a game where the boys and girls trade sticks and play by girls rules.

TH: For those who don’t know, what is the background of the event?
SH: Shootout for Soldiers was started in 2012 by Tyler Steinhardt as a way to bring awareness and help those veterans that have served our country. Many left the service with both physical and invisible wounds. Over 80 cities submitted a bid this year to host Shootout for Soldiers but only four were selected. Canidigua, NY, Hudson Valley, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Salt Lake City, Utah. These cities will join the existing Shootout locations of Long Island, NY; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; and San Diego, CA.

Here is the official info about Shootout for Soldiers:

Shootout for Soldiers is a 24 hour lacrosse event benefiting American veterans. The event is fun. It’s not a tournament or about recruiting. The event is all about supporting those who serve our country. There are 24, 1-hour games in a row and a running score is kept between the two teams, Stars and Stripes. Participating teams play in one 1-hour slot during the event and the event is open to men’s and women’s teams of all ages. The funds raised by the teams benefit our four national charity partners: Team Red White & Blue, Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, Semper Fi Fund, and the Gary Sinise Foundation as well as two local charities in each location.

TH: Anything else?
SH: If anyone is interested in volunteering to help with fundraising or execution of the event I would be so appreciative. I have a pretty good committee but we could always use more. Please contact me directly:
stephenh0914@gmail.com
385-259-9936

For more information about the event, head over to the Shootout for Soldiers website.

Registration will open in early March.

Also, you can follow the Utah event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1800986946842071/

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