08/23/12 — Conference Carolinas moving four spring tournaments to Burlington

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Conference Carolinas moving four spring tournaments to Burlington

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 23, 2012 1:48 PM

HIGH POINT -- Four Conference Carolinas spring tournaments will have a new home beginning next spring.

The Burlington Recreation and Parks Department will play host to championship events in men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball from 2013-15.

The city has hosted the USA South Conference festival the past seven years, one of the deciding factors that led Conference Carolinas officials to select Burlington. It's also a central location for the 12-member league that includes institutions from North and South Carolina, and Tennessee.

"Conference Carolinas student-athletes will have an exciting festival experience in Burlington," Alan Patterson, Conference Carolinas commissioner, said. "The close competition always experienced in Conference Carolinas tournaments and the commitment of the City of Burlington will create lasting memories for all who participate and attend."

Coker (S.C.) College, located in Hartsville, served as the tournament host for the double-elimination softball tournament. Historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson and Nixon Field at Barton College shared the annual baseball tournament.

Lacrosse teams have determined their champions at Queens University in Charlotte during the past few years.

"The (conference) athletics directors have talked a while about having a spring sports festival and this is a step in that direction," Jeff Eisen, athletics director at Mount Olive College, said. "Burlington has aggressively pursued bringing conference championships there, offering an attractive financial package. Plus, they have good athletic facilities and lots of hotels and restaurants, so it is a good area to bring our teams.

"I think it is a positive move for our conference and will enhance the championship experience for our student-athletes."

The baseball tournament is scheduled for Apr. 24-28 at Burlington Athletic Stadium, which currently houses the Burlington Royals, the Rookie League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

The men's and women's lacrosse and softball championships are Apr.18-21 at the highly-regarded Burlington Springwood Park. Perennial power Limestone (S.C.) University played in the NCAA Division II men's and women's national title games last spring.

All four championship events will take place the same weekend beginning in 2014, according to Conference Carolinas and Burlington Recreation officials.

"It is an honor to have been selected for this great opportunity, not only for the league, but for the athletes as well," said Lisa Wolf, the Burlington superintendent of recreation programming. "The confidence we have in our staff will provide a sports festival that is sure to outshine all other championship events."