WKU to host Second Annual Topper Classic field hockey tournament

Kurt Carson

The WKU field hockey club may not officially qualify as a “varsity” sport, but that doesn’t make it any less significant for the members involved.

This weekend’s Second Annual Topper Classic has become a key event of the field hockey club’s season.

The classic will take place Sunday at the Hattie L. Preston Intramural Sports Complex from 9:30 a.m. until around 5 p.m.

Sports Club Coordinator Jordan Gardner said the classic has simply been “fantastic” for the club.

“I see the club doing this event as their main event every single year and so we hope it becomes a great tradition,” she said. “They’ve got the foundation set. Now it’s time to keep rolling with it.”

Gardner said competitive tournaments such as this one create a “tremendous opportunity” for students who were varsity athletes at the high school level.

Louisville junior and field hockey sport club president Shelby Overstreet said it has meant a lot for her to be able to continue playing at WKU.

“It’s a really good opportunity to continue playing if you played in high school and still have a love for the sport,” Overstreet said. “A lot of our girls are from Louisville and have played field hockey all their life.”

The WKU field hockey club was founded in 2005. Gardner said that  “since then the club has continued to grow and thrive.”

One sign of growth is that the newly created Topper Classic is already bringing in big-name schools.

Missouri, Vanderbilt and Saint Louis will all compete in the tournament.

“They’re very excited to host big-name schools,” Gardner said. “For those teams to come into Western Kentucky here in Bowling Green is really a thrill for them.”

Gardner said it allows for an opportunity to “brag about our sport clubs and get some recognition here at WKU.”

However, she said it’s not just the recognition that’s special, since all proceeds from the event will go to The Center for Courageous Kids.

“It speaks volumes for these clubs because they know the money they’re paying to play in this is all going toward a great cause,” Gardner said.

Although the event is free to attend, baked goods and T-shirts will be sold to raise money for the cause.

The Center for Courageous Kids communications vice president Stormi Murtie said the partnership with the WKU field hockey club has been “amazing.”

“When we have an organization like the field hockey club help out, it shows they want to make a difference in the life of a severely ill child,” Murtie said. “It says a lot about a sports team.”

Gardner said both the classic and the connection with The Center for Courageous Kids have been very helpful. 

“They’ve probably been the most beneficial things for our club, with helping out a cause and bringing recognition to the WKU field hockey club,” Gardner said.