Thanks to some rapid responding from Murrieta Mesa boys’ lacrosse coach Charlie Arthur and his Athletic Director, California will be played at Murrieta Mesa High School for the first time this year.

The SFS California planning committee went into a bit of a panic when it received that Dana Hills High School would not be able to host the event this year because the turf field would be under construction. No doubt there was a collective sigh of relief when they learned that all it took to fix the problem was a call to Arthur.

“Hosting at Murrieta Mesa was quite a surprise,” said Arthur by email. “A couple members of the California planning committee are from this area, they texted me and asked if I could get Murrieta Mesa High School for the event. I called our Athletic Director and we had to shuffle a few things, but I made the call two days later that we could do it.”

In hindsight, it’s not surprising that Arthur would step up in this time of need. He has been one of the SFS California’s most ardent supporters since it’s inception.

“I got involved with Shootout for Soldiers three years ago,” Arthur explained, “when I was approached by Will Patton who is a veteran and very active in our local lacrosse community. Between our high school programs, middle school programs, and adult alumni, we have brought eight to ten teams each year to Shootout for Soldiers.

Arthur’s passion for SFS is rooted in his ties to the military. His grandfather was an engineer in the Navy and his uncle was an Army helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam and then continued flying for more than 20 years. Also, because of its proximity to Camp Pendleton, Miramar, Coronado, and March Air Force Base, the Temecula/ Murrieta lacrosse community has a large population of active duty military families.

“They sacrifice so much,” said Arthur. “Shootout for Soldiers is just a great way to show our support for all that they do.”

SFS is not just a great way to support veterans, it is also fun and fosters community building. Nearly everybody who plays has a favorite memory.

“My favorite memory of Shootout for Soldiers is from the 2016 Shootout for Soldiers,” Arthur reminisced. “There were jars with coaches names on them and the coaches jar that got the most donations earned, that coach a pie in the face at the end of the shootout. Somehow my name got on a jar, and for the whole day, my 10-year-old daughter Addison walked up and down the bleachers filling up my jar. I don’t recall the exact amount she raised, but I remember the Shootout staff telling me at about noon, that I had to stay till the end of the day because I’d be getting a pie in the face.”

Arthur is now busy planning the SFS California that will create new memories. He’s hoping that the move to the Temecula wine country coupled with interest from the local military community will make 2018 the biggest and best SFS California ever.

Arthur hopes to spice things up a bit by expanding on the traditional father-son game with a high school and college father/son game as well as a middle school father/son game. He is even providing gear for parents who want to play but don’t have their own gear.

“Make a weekend of it,” Arthur advised. “Because we are in the Temecula/Murrieta area we are working with local hotels and wineries to create opportunities for families out of the area to make a weekend of the event and enjoy all that the area has to offer.”

Still sitting on the fence on whether or not to participate in SFS California 2018?  Here are Charlie Arthur’s top 3 reasons to experience Shootout for Soldiers.

  1. Playing lacrosse is fun but playing lacrosse and knowing it is supporting something much bigger is an amazing experience.
  2. Shootout for Soldiers is a fun and festive environment – It is great to unite our military and lacrosse communities with 24 hours of games, and things like father/son games are events that we don’t get to participate in very often, and they are a lot of fun. Shootout for Soldiers is just something every lacrosse player should experience.
  3. The Shootout for Soldiers gear is pretty cool. The game pinnies are unique every year, and there is other gear available for purchase that is awesome.

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