Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oscar Cooler Youth Sports Complex expansion in Lutz opens Saturday

LUTZ — With the help of youth football, soccer and cheerleading squads, Hillsborough County officials will open a $3.9 million addition to the Oscar Cooler Youth Sports Complex at 9 a.m. Saturday. Years in the making, the new fields will see their first football practice immediately after the opening. Here's a quick look at the project. Richard Danielson, Times staff writer

What's new: One soccer game field, one football game field, three combination soccer/football practice fields, one small football practice field, two concession buildings with restrooms, two maintenance buildings and parking.

Where: 19045 Crooked Lane in Lutz, south of Lutz-Lake Fern Road and west of U.S. 41.

How big: 33 acres.

Why it's important: The complex already is home to Little League baseball, Lutz Leaguerettes softball and Lutz Chiefs football and cheerleading. But until now, there was no space for soccer. More than 500 players and cheerleaders are expected to use the expanded complex. The original park (baseball and softball) and new expansion (football and soccer) are meant to function as separate parks so children do not have to cross Crooked Lane.

The history: In the mid 1970s, Lutz resident Oscar Cooler rallied neighbors and civic groups to donate their own time, materials and sweat to build an athletic complex on a former orange grove bought by the county. Since then, the park has been a point of pride and symbol of the community's readiness to pitch in for a cause.

What they're saying: "I am so proud of that thing," said Cooler, now 81, who welcomed the addition of soccer fields. "We need to spend more time keeping our young people busy rather than just walking the streets. You can't do better than to have recreation in any community."

Still to come: Improvements to the original park, which will continue to be used for baseball and softball. The money for the project is in the budget, but there is no schedule yet for the work.

Oscar Cooler Youth Sports Complex expansion in Lutz opens Saturday 08/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 11:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Minors also a training ground for umpires with big-league dreams

    The Heater

    Umpire Tom Fornarola, 23, left, and Taylor Payne, 24, facing, talk before the start of the Gulf Coast League game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  2. In Florida, nation's only lightning center closes after DARPA cuts funding


    University of Florida professor Martin Uman usually spends much of this summer at an old Army base about an hour northeast of Gainesville, shooting rockets at thunderclouds, then measuring the bright flashes of lightning that followed.

    Rocket-and-wire triggered lightning at the University of Florida's International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, which recently lost federal funding. A rocket trailing a grounded wire is launched toward an active thunderstorm at the ICLRT. One launch is from a tower, one from ground. When the wire is about as high as the Empire State Building, lightning is induced to strike the top of the wire, much as it strikes tall objects like the ESB. Interestingly, the cloud charge source is about 3 miles high, so a 300 yard-long wire can cause a 3 mile or more long lightning.  After that, there are several normal tortuous strokes ( downward leaders from the cloud charge/upward return strokes) which can be seen as the wind blows the individual strokes to the right. The time between strokes is about 50 thousands of a second. Between some strokes, continuing current can be seen. Continuing current is what generally starts forest fires. [Photo by Dr. Dustin Hill]
  3. Editorial: Reasonable clarity on gambling in Florida


    Gambling expansion strategies — and misfires — are nearly an annual ritual in Florida. There were the eight counties that voted to allow slot machines but were blocked by the Florida Supreme Court. There was the governor's $3 billion deal with the Seminole Tribe in 2015 that was never approved by the …

    Gov. Rick Scott agreed to a much simpler deal with the Seminole Tribe that embraces the status quo instead of expansion. And that’s a good thing.
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Editorial: Hillsborough smartly embraces diversion program for youths


    Children who commit minor crimes can pay for their mistakes for a lifetime — losing a chance to attend college, join the military or obtain credit and a good job. That is unjust to the individuals and a burdensome cost to society, and Hillsborough County is taking the right new approach by giving some juveniles a …

    Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren has announced an agreement between law enforcement agencies and the courts that will allow first-time offenders who commit nonviolent crimes as juveniles to be issued civil citations rather than face an arrest and prosecution.