­­Georgia Games bring lacrosse to Bartow County
by Jason Greenberg
Jun 20, 2013 | 783 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The residents of Bartow County are proud of their athletic teams. The local high schools have not only won state championships but have had their fair share of talent come through the hallways.

However, the county’s high school athletic programs are lagging behind other Georgian and national programs in its lack of a lacrosse presence.

The Georgia Games organization is trying to change that, starting with a girls lacrosse tournament that will be held at the Cartersville Soccer Complex Saturday and Sunday for Georgia teams whose players are between the ages of 14-18.

“It is a really fast drawing sport in the South, so the help of this tournament and other tournaments like this will not only get the attention of the people who play, but people who are watching it for the first time,” Paige Gadsby, the event’s director, said. “I think it will be a great start to make lacrosse more widespread and you have to start small. We may start small with the Georgia Games, but we’re going to work our way up and set the example in Cartersville.”

It may seem counterintuitive to hold a lacrosse event in an area where there is little excitement for the sport, but that is the prime reason the Georgia Games, which is a non-profit organization, chose Cartersville as the location.

“That’s one of the goals of the Georgia Games, to help develop the sports that we offer in the venues that we compete in,” Taylor Woods, public relations director for the Georgia Games, said. “Several years ago, after we introduced the event in Dallas, more and more teams started to come to compete in that area. And that’s one of the reasons why we chose Cartersville, because it’s one area where there’s not as much of a lacrosse presence.”

The Georgia Games offers about 59 sports throughout the summer.

The organization’s main goal is to promote physical fitness in the lives of Georgians and to keep people active and fight childhood obesity by offering events such as the lacrosse tournament this weekend.

“I think it will be a great start to make lacrosse more widespread,” Gadsby said. “People tend to get in a comfort zone with baseball, football and basketball. They might not want to venture out into something new, but if they were to give lacrosse a shot, they might change their mind.”