In an effort to bring an event that is expected to attract 200 young people to Alliance, Edison Red Nest III submitted a request to the Alliance School Board Monday night to use Bulldog Stadium as a place to host the event.
The event, a lacrosse clinic that will feature national all-star lacrosse athletes the Thompson brothers, is set to take place July 2-3.
“We’ve been active in lacrosse for the past four years, steadily building, not just in Alliance, but in the entire Panhandle and up on the Reservation,” said Red Nest. “We had the opportunity to bring in the Thompson brothers and Thompson brothers lacrosse. For those of you who aren’t aware, these guys are the best. They are the superstars of lacrosse.”
Red Nest said he has been working with Panhandle Public Health District and the Betty Ford Foundation as a way to help make the event a reality. He said the clinic will serve as a way to focus on keeping youth active and to help them heal from any hurt or addiction they may be facing.
Red Nest said he is requesting to use the stadium because it is the best facility for the event to accommodate both participants and spectators.
“It’s the nicest place we’ve got,” said Red Nest. “We play at the city park, and that’s cool, but to have people at the stadium and people in the stands, like I said, because they are superstars. We have been inviting people from Iowa, from Rapid City, from the Reservation, down in Denver, different lacrosse communities to come together to do this. We’re not charging anyone for this.
“It would be good for our school system, what we’re trying to accomplish here, especially with mental health, to work with them, because there are other things they are trying to help out with as well—not just bringing lacrosse. They’re asking what are the problems, what are you seeing, because they know I’m on the school board. They see there is a need in the Panhandle for them to come in and do something,” Red Nest said.
Red Nest hopes that this will help to inspire an even greater sense of community in Alliance, bringing families together. He said they are working to make it an annual event. Outside of the stadium, they will have an educational component, to teach people about beadwork, storytelling and other activities.
“What I would like is for Alliance to put our best face out there, especially for people like that who are coming,” said Red Nest.
Board Member Shana Brown said her major concern is protecting the track from damage. Board Member Tim Richey suggested they could spread mats over the track to guide traffic to the field. He asked about restrictions on the field, and Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker said it is not closed to traffic, though they work to keep events off of the field to prevent any damage. He noted there are differences between having a few people on the field and hundreds of people.
“Two hundred kids on it on a normal day, it’ll go down for a little while, but it will bounce back by football season,” said Unzicker. “If we happen to catch bad weather, we had a football game one Friday night where it rained and it took us two years to get it seeded back in right so it looked like grass instead of a mud puddle. But, you can’t control that.”
Richey said he believes the event would be positive for Alliance, noting it is different from a regular flag football or soccer game.
Unzicker said it would be up to the board to decide, but that if it were approved, it could open the door for other groups to use the field more often.
“Once we allow one activity on it, I feel like there will be more groups that approach us,” Unzicker said.”