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Organizer, player, now coach takes part in every year of "Fort Lowell Shootout"

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 00:20:10-05

TUCSON, Ariz — "I played in the first three, the first year was my favorite year. I had all my good friends playing with me."

That first year, Paige Watson was on the pitch, kicking and scoring.

These days you'll find Watson on the sidelines, motivating the next generation of kickers and scorers.

"I've been involved with the Fort Lowell Shootout for all 30 years."

Watson said she started playing soccer when she was four.

Her mother helped organize the first shootout tournament, from then on taking part in this event has been her goal.

"It's never left me, I've been out here every year since then."

"I have a 19-year-old daughter who started coaching when she started playing when she was four. and I've coached her all the way through college, or all the way through high school, she's now off to college," Watson said.

It's certainly a family affair for Watson but she said it's not all fun and games.

Over 200 volunteers, Watson among them, worked all weekend to make this tournament a ball.

"My feet hurt but got up at 6 o'clock Saturday morning and did it all over again."

The shootout has been a shot on goal for Tucson's economy.

Organizers estimate about $4-million dollars pumped into the city by visiting teams, coming from Texas. California, Utah, Colorado, even Mexico.

As Watson will tell you her love of the sport and passion to pass it along to a new generation, inspires her work with this tournament.

"It's all of us as a team coming together to make sure that 380 teams of kids just have a fantastic weekend and remember the Fort Lowell Shootout, every single year."