“I was involved with Shootout for Soldiers in the first year they had it in 2012 at Boys’ Latin,” Dixon said. “My older son was playing in the event and then I played as well later in the evening.”
Dixon covered all the bases in his first year participating, filling the roles of a parent, coach and player all in the same inaugural game.
What’s kept him coming back for five years straight?
“I just think it’s an amazing event,” he said. “When you can give back in any way, shape or form to folks who serve our country, I think it’s just amazing.”
His son Owen will play at St. Paul’s this year with the Maryland Roughriders team: https://www.crowdrise.com/roughriders3
“It’s just an event that allows the sport to give back to something that’s really, really important. And that’s taking care of men and women who have served our country in the military, in combat, overseas, at home, whatever the case may be.
“When you can give back in any way, shape or form to folks who serve our country, I think it’s just amazing.”
Dixon wants to convey to both parents and their children that Shootout for Soldiers isn’t another youth tournament or camp to shell out money for.
“It’s an experience that they’ll never forget,” he said. “Everyone is playing as a group and they’re playing against other kids, but ultimately their playing for the fine charitable organizations that support our Veterans.”
Dixon’s hope for 2016 is that even more families get a chance to share the same experience he has enjoyed for the past four years.
“This isn’t a tournament. The winners are everybody,” he claimed. “The kids will have an incredible time. The parents are going to feel incredibly proud to be supporting a terrific event and of course our Veterans are the ones who benefit from it the most.”
“It’s an experience that they’ll never forget.”
Dixon is one of a select few who’ve had a chance to see the event grow from its humble beginnings on Lake Avenue in 2012.
“When you look down the road now 5 years later, the fact that it’s in so many cities [is the most impressive]. The evolution from a singular field at Boys’ Latin to two fields at McDonogh and now at St. Paul’s, I think speaks to the growth of the event just in Baltimore alone.”
If you plan on seeking out Dixon at Shootout for Soldiers Baltimore, look no further than the broadcast tent.
“I look forward to being on the live stream again,” he said. “I’ve had an absolute blast with it. But I’m also very excited to have one of my kids participate again. To have one of my boys out there playing again is going to be very special.”
Though the number one thing Dixon longs to experience again is the event atmosphere.
“…Just seeing the lacrosse community coming together for an incredible cause,” Dixon said. “That’s the bottom line. When you walked onto BL’s campus…when you walked onto McDonogh’s campus you just got this tremendous sense of pride and comradery and just really a gracious appreciation for our military.”
“Watching it grow over the last few years has been incredible,” Dixon said. “It’s grown by leaps and bounds. And it’s just going to keep on growing.”