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The Ozarks Lunkers are scheduled to start play in summer 2024.
SBJ file
The Ozarks Lunkers are scheduled to start play in summer 2024.

CoxHealth to provide care for Ozarks Lunkers

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The Ozarks Lunkers, The Arena League football team scheduled to start play next year, penned a health care partnership with CoxHealth.

CoxHealth's Sports Medicine Department will provide "top-tier health care services and state-of-the-art facilities" for the Lunkers, according to a news release. CoxHealth spokesperson Cary Nabors said the facilities would be existing centers at CoxHealth.

"We're excited to have CoxHealth on board as integral partners in this exciting venture," Lunkers General Manager Caleb Scott said in the release. "Their commitment to excellence and player welfare aligns seamlessly with our vision for the team."

The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed in the release.

The Lunkers organization is drawing on years of experience in sports medicine with the partnership.

CoxHealth's Sports Medicine team is co-led by Drs. Shannon Woods and Heath Melugin. Woods has experience working with the team physicians of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and at the Olympics, and Melugin has cared for multiple professional and Olympic athletes and is a current team physician for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, according to the release.

“As someone who grew up in Springfield and has first-hand experience with how well this community supports its sports, I’m thrilled CoxHealth is a part of this new chapter with the Ozarks Lunkers,” Melugin said in the release. “Our team is ready to serve these players and our broader community through providing top-tier sports medicine care.”

The Lunkers and The Arena League are slated to start play in summer 2024. The Lunkers will play home games at the Wilson Logistics Arena at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.

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