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    MEREDITH JONES

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    Pawel Bachnik dribbles a ball downfield while finding off another player at the Mooresville Indoor Soccer Complex.
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    MEREDITH JONES

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    Madeline Laity, 12, races around the track at The Pit Indoor Kart Racing in Mooresville.
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    MEREDITH JONES

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    Randy Green, one of the basketball coaches at Talbert Recreation Center in Mooresville.
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    MEREDITH JONES

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    Robin Swartz and sons (left) Robbie, 14, and David, 13, both of whom attend camp at Sports Connection Northlake.
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    MEREDITH JONES

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    Mooresville Indoor Soccer Complex also offers after school fitness programs for kids.
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    MEREDITH JONES

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    (L to R) Jack Thesier, 45, Caroline Thesier, 10, and Bobby Miller,16, all go for a strike at George Pappas' Victory Lanes in Mooresville.
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    MEREDITH JONES

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    Drew Sevic, 14, us up at bat at Benchwarmers Sports Complex in Mooresville.

Go Inside and Play

By KAREL BOND LUCANDER | Photography by MEREDITH JONES

Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 06, 2012

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As temperatures drop, your activity level can rise. Avoid cabin fever, stay in shape and have fun during the rainy, cold months of winter at these Lake Norman facilities.

The Pit Indoor Kart Racing

If you feel the need for speed, go to The Pit Indoor Kart Racing. The Pit’s Sodi RX7 adult karts and Sodi youth karts run circles around carts found elsewhere, capable of reaching up to 45 mph. At 70,000 square feet, this track is also one of the largest in the country, offering 20 challenging turns.

“Our youth carts are three times faster than the average amusement-park carts,” says owner Don Towne.

For those who want more than racing, The Pit also has black-light mini-golf, a rock climbing station, laser tag, baseball batting cages, arcade games and a billiards area.

Matt Laity, of Salisbury, participates in the adult racing league, and brings his kids along for a little racing action as well as the other activities.

“On adult league night, we’ll also do some youth races, play video games and laser tag. When we go as a family, we take advantage of most of their activities.”

George Pappas’ Victory Lanes.

Are you ready to knock down some pins? Check out George Pappas’ Victory Lanes. With 40 bowling lanes, an arcade, billiards area, sports bar and restaurant, this is an ideal place to spend some quality time and escape frigid winter temperatures. The bowling alley also hosts corporate events, birthday parties and offers “Midnight Thunder” bowling.

For those interested in joining a league, there is one geared to all skill levels and ages.

Last year, Bobby Miller, a junior at Mooresville High School, started a bowling club through school. It now has more than doubled, with 40 members. Miller, who also bowls in two other leagues, has accrued $560 in bowling scholarship money.

Jack Thesier, a seasoned bowler and member of Dazcon Racers league, says Victory Lanes is a great place just to hang out and have fun. “The restaurant puts out some really good food, and sometimes we’ll just come here to eat and watch a race or football game,” he says.

Benchwarmers Sports Complex

If you want to keep your skills sharp during the off-season, Benchwarmers Sports Complex is the perfect spot. With 11,000 square feet of dedicated baseball and softball training space, you’ll be more than ready for opening day. In addition to a field area, there are five cages and four hitting stations with the latest automated equipment.

But this 40,000-square-foot facility doesn’t just cater to baseball. There’s a golf simulator, an area to practice soccer or lacrosse and a full basketball court.

Owner Rich Hutcherson says they also offer men’s leagues, and they’ve recently added physical fitness training with all their programs, and often work with school sports teams.

Amy Sevic, head of middle school at Pine Lake Preparatory in Mooresville, says the school often rents out the batting cages and the gym for students. And Sevic’s 14-year-old son, Drew, also plays baseball at the facility.

“In the winter, you don’t have to take time off from working out,” he says.

Sports Connection-Northlake

At Sports Connection-Northlake, kids can play laser tag or “duck-pin” bowling while their parents play flag football or volleyball. This newly renovated arena is divided into two spaces with separate entrances: sports and fitness center and family entertainment area.

According to Tonya Anderson, marketing director of Sports Connection, it gives customers the best of both worlds.

“We have adult soccer, basketball and a fitness center. On the entertainment side, we’re adding a rock wall and more party rooms. And we have a special Lil’ Kickers program, using soccer to help kids with motor skills,” says Anderson.

Walk-ins are welcome, but another feature parents can appreciate is the camps. According to Robin Swartz, whose sons, Robbie and David, attend camp here, it’s good to plan fair-weather activities during the dead of winter.

“Sports Connection is our “base camp” — we depend upon it, we know our kids are in good hands, and they get a lot of physical activity,” she says.

Talbert Recreation Center

The Talbert Recreation Center, run by the town of Mooresville, is a sleek, new 26,000-square-foot facility that offers athletic programs, fitness activities and even language classes.

“The programs are affordable, inclusive and accessible. We want to eventually offer an eclectic variety of activities,” says director Ryan Jones.

For now, the center, which opened earlier this year, buzzes with basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, Zumba and hip-hop cardio classes. The facility also hosts several regional and local basketball, volleyball and wrestling tournaments and camps throughout the year.

“Our specialty is basketball and volleyball. We provide open gym times and space for AA teams and leagues,” Jones says.

Mooresville Indoor Soccer Complex

Mooresville Indoor Soccer Complex offers programs and classes geared for families and athletes of all skill levels. The AthElite Fitness Classes are designed for all ages, while the more specialized Elite Training Academy is intended to help accomplished soccer athletes take his or her game to the next level. There’s also programs for burgeoning young soccer players, such as Little Sparks Soccer (for kids 3 to 5), which works on basic soccer skills as well as fitness and social development. Adult men’s and coed soccer leagues are also available.

This multi-faceted complex also hosts winter lacrosse leagues and holiday sports tournaments. There’s even an after-school program that works with the nearby Talbert Recreation Center.

“We bring kids here, give them a healthy snack, make sure they get their homework done and help them blow some steam off by shooting hoops, kicking the soccer ball around or working on conditioning,” says Marie Quinn, general manager of the facility.

Mike Nutting, whose sons Sam and Michael attend, says, “It’s a great place for our children to go after school, and makes life much easier for our family.”

Want to go?

The Pit Indoor Kart Racing

346 East Plaza Dr., Mooresville

704-799-3470

meetatthepit.com

George Pappas’ Victory Lanes

625 Bluefield Road, Mooresville

704-664-2695

victorylanesnc.com

Benchwarmers Sports Complex

302 Rolling Hills Road, Mooresville

704-664-1218

benchwarmerssportscomplex.com

Sports Connection-Northlake

8626 Hankins Road, Charlotte

704-583-1444

sportsconnectionnc.com

Talbert Recreation Center

413 North Main St., Mooresville

704-663-3800

ci.mooresville.nc.us

Mooresville Indoor Soccer Complex

128 Speedway Lane, Mooresville

704-898-3192

mooresvilleindoorsoccer.com

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