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Soccer tourney goal to light up field in memory of grad

Sport was 'first love' of Haley Hopkins, former SMFHS player killed in 2015 crash

By STEVE WIANDT Reporter Published: July 16, 2017 12:00 AM
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STOW -- The first Haley Hopkins Memorial Preseason Girls Soccer Tournament will take place on July 29 at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. The event is being co-sponsored by the Stow-Munroe Falls Athletic Boosters and the Hopkins family.

Haley Hopkins died on July 31, 2015, in a crash caused by a drunk driver. She was 21. A resident of Akron at the time of her death, Ms. Hopkins was a 2012 graduate of Stow-Munroe Falls High School and a member of First United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls.

The Hopkins family established an annual $1,000 scholarship through the Stow Schools Foundation in her name to help student-athletes at Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

"Haley's first love was playing soccer having played age group soccer from age 5 until age 20 after a few years in college," said her mother, Danielle Schlea. "While in high school, it had always been her dream to play soccer on the high school soccer field under 'big stadium lights.'"

"We are reaching out to the community to help support our fundraising efforts to raise money for our Stow-Munroe Falls Athletic Boosters to put lighting on the soccer field at the high school," Schlea said. Donations will be accepted during the tournament, she added.

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The Stow-Munroe Falls Goal Club and Athletic Boosters added a new concession stand, real bathroom facilities, a "beautiful" gated entryway and new patron stands, Schlea said, and the one item not currently present are lights on the field. Evening soccer games to this date must be played on the turf football field. Stow's soccer facility "is a well-built and maintained field and should be utilized to its fullest capacity by placing proper lighting on the field," added Schlea.

"We are asking for your monetary donations to help us bring 'light' to those many athletes who use the soccer and lacrosse field," Schlea said. "Incorporating new stadium lights will not only allow soccer and lacrosse games to be played at night, but also allow the potential site to hold future playoff games or bigger tournaments for area teams."

Five girls teams have signed up to play three games on July 29, said Schlea. The first game starts at 9 a.m. and the last game starts at 6 p.m. Each game will be 45 minutes.

The tournament is designed for teams to either get a first look at area teams or play against teams they normally won't get a chance to play, she said.

Tournament organizers are still looking for Corporate Sponsors at a $250 donation, said Schlea. These sponsors will have their names on a banner which will be visible on tournament day and also hung up around the main stadium during the fall soccer season.

For more information on the event, email Schlea at dani.hopkins@att.net.

Email: swiandt@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9420

Twitter: @SteveWiandt_RPC


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