Saturday, August 13, 2022

Ridgeland's City Sports Services to Provide Management for Oxford-Lafayette Sportsplex

Former Rebel third baseman Chris Snopek to bring his expertise in competitive sports athletics to new OLS complex located six miles south of Oxford

Chris Snopek Photo courtesy UM Athletic Department
Chris Snopek
Photo courtesy UM Athletic Department

OXFORD, MS. –– Chris Snopek is back in the dusty, grass-stained sporting spirit of Oxford and north Mississippi these days.
Twenty-two years after the Cynthiana, Kentucky, native played college baseball at Ole Miss –– leaving his junior year when he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox –– Snopek’s City Sports Services consulting company has been selected to provide all of the management and on-site operational services for the Oxford-Lafayette Sportsplex, the new multi sport athletic arena set to bring competitive youth athletics to North Mississippi beginning February 8.
As founder and owner of Performance Sports in Ridgeland, Mississippi, the former MLB third baseman and shortstop for the White Sox, Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs will oversee everything from the registration of teams to onsite management of tournament events with the assistance of Tournament Director Greg Lewis, an administrator at Lafayette High School and an Oxford resident with more than ten years youth coaching experience.
The OLS TD will spend weekends from early February through late October overseeing the 18 soccer, baseball and softball tournaments events on the OLS 2014 Schedule of Events, Snopek says. Lewis also will manage football tournaments, sports camps and other events that will take place at the 73-acre, LED-lit, Lafayette County multi-sport arena.
Now the father of two girls and two boys ages 15, 12, 10 and 9 with wife, Carla, Snopek has become a leading proponent of youth competitive sports since his retirement from professional baseball in 2002.
Photo courtesy of UM Athletic Department
Photo courtesy of UM Athletic Department

Playing for the Memphis Cardinals at the end of his professional sports career, Snopek actually made the transition the year before, in 2001, when he co-founded Performance Sports with business partner Chris Lotterhos in a 22,000 square-foot facility in Flowood, Mississippi.
“I would come home and people would ask me to give lessons to their kids and help them develop their sports skills,” says Snopek, a Madison resident since 1995 who now operates Performance Sports from a 35,000 square foot training space in Ridgeland that includes a 10,000 square foot indoor soccer field, six batting cases and three pitching mounds.
With the help of a seasoned staff, he also hosts a number of fall and summer sports camps for youth age 8-18 at the Ridgeland facility, in addition to bringing USSSA sanctioned competitive baseball and USFA fast-pitch softball tournaments (Oxford only) to north and central Mississippi year-round.
Snopek, whose ten-year pro career included playing alongside NBA legend Michael Jordan for the Birmingham Barons in 1994, says much has changed since his own youth athletic days in Kentucky, when he played park and recreational baseball back in his native Cynthiana.
“When we opened our business, we opened it for players trying to get to college, to give them a jump start. Now, it has evolved into a business where young athletes come to get the skills training they need to make the high school team.”
As an example, Snopek says Madison Central High School typically has 50-60 kids show up for freshmen tryouts each year, with only 18 slots available on the team.
“Thirty years ago, the competition was not as great. Kids played multiple sports. But now, they almost have to focus on one or two sports.”
Known to Ole Miss fans as a solid player who excelled at the difficult third-base position while playing for the Rebels, Snopek says he is looking forward to his new role providing the management for Oxford Lafayette Sportsplex.
“Oxford Lafayette Sportsplex is providing a great and unique opportunity for the kids of North Mississippi,” Snopek says. “The Sportsplex is progressing rapidly. It will have the only synthetic turf fields in Mississippi. What a great benefit for the entire Oxford community.”
For more on Chris Snopek and the Oxford Lafayette Sportsplex check out https://www.psa360.com/ and www.oxfordlafayettesportsplex.com. Visit the Oxford-Lafayette Sportsplex on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OLSportsplex, or follow the action on Twitter at @OLSportsplex.
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