This year marks the 11th year of the horseshoe tournament at the Lions Club’s Summer Festival. Brett Grossman, the newest Lion in that year, started it in 2007 and struggled to get 32 pitchers. This year, the club expects nearly 80 participants, male and female, the largest field ever.
“The last few years we’ve capped participation at 64 players but we will be installing a fourth set of horseshoe pits at the pavilion to accommodate more players,” Grossman said. “The tournament has really become a staple for the festival.” He noticed that now the event is getting more and more second and third generation pitchers; guys are able to throw with their fathers and uncles and the event has the spirit of a family reunion.
The contestants like an audience, Grossman observed. Last year’s tournament took nearly eight hours to play but most of the crowd stayed until the bitter end, he said. Dave Stafinski Jr. and Randy Munn were last year’s champions. They will be paired again to defend their title. All other players will be matched via random draw at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 29. Sign-ups are required ahead of time. Grossman can be reached at 269-615-6770.
The cost is $10 to enter and includes a T-shirt for each participant. For the 10th anniversary, six players who had participated in every horseshoe tournament were recognized. They were Ryan Bright, Jamie Hagenbaugh, Scott Hiemstra, Scott Haynes, Dan Mendham and Grossman.