It’s Exposure Month!
The summer season now moves into Phase 3, the traveling season and the viewing season. Except it’s neither of those things for many of the less elite club teams who have already shut ‘er down. But, for the more elite…
The summer season now moves into Phase 3, the traveling season and the viewing season. Except it’s neither of those things for many of the less elite club teams who have already shut ‘er down. But, for the more elite teams among us, it’s onward and upward to Louisville and Chicago and other slightly less exotic places. For those of us who remain tethered to the Twin Cities, thank goodness there’s the North Tartan Meltdown and Top Tier Showcase on July 23, 24 and 25. More about that later.
What's it all about? Exposure, of course. Team bragging rights are pretty much set in stone after the state tournament in May, though the right matchup here or there could still be important. But, matchups between Minnesota teams will be the exception, not the rule. More importantly, 6 of our top 10 2018s remain unsigned. That will change soon enough. Ditto, the cream of the crop among the 2017s. Watch for some of them to announce their college preference sometime after the viewing period has closed. One big game in Louisville or Chicago can make all the difference.
In short, the players with the most on the line this month are players like North Tartan 11 EY's Maesyn Theisen and Raena Suggs, and Stars Hersch's Krystal Carlson, and Tayler Hill's Morgan Hill. And among the 2019s, Kallie Theisen and Hannah Purcell of CF Theisen, Sara Stapleton and Dlyala Chakolis of Stars Nelson, Elaina Jones of Tayler Hill, McKenna Hofschild of Fury Blue, Kacie Borowicz of Stars Amundson and Sara Scalia of Tartan 10 EY, players with the potential to nail down the biggest prizes.
Here's where they could do that.
The Gateway to the South
Early this month, the focus is on Louisville, KY, which bills itself as the Gateway to the South, but for our purposes they’re the home of the Run 4 the Roses, the Under Armour Cup, the Battle of the Boro and some North Tartan EYBL league games.
The Run 4 the Roses opens today at the Kentucky Expo Center, and is billed as one of the 5 largest girls exposure events of the year. Last year, 350 teams and 600 college coaches showed up. An estimated 12 MN teams will be in attendance. Tournament Web sites, like club Web sites, can be pretty tricky navigatin,’ so we will “guesstimate” 3 Stars (DeSart, Buerman and Nelson), 3 Heat (Vang, Hinck, Smetana), 2 Tartan (one just called North Tartan and NT Tru, both in the U15 class), and 1 each from Metro Stars (Wiese), Warriors, Rochester Shock and Crossfire (Theisen).
The UnderArmour Cup also opens today in the same city, but at the Mid-American Sports Center. As we understand things, another 4 Stars teams (Amundson, Antl, Hersch and Walters) are playing in the UAC. But, as the Stars are the lone Twin Cities affiliate of UA—analogous to Tartan and Nike—no other club is represented here.
While everybody is in Louisville anyway, the EYBL will play some games there. NT 11th EYBL will take on the Miami Suns, the Wheat State Elite and All Ohio, supposedly all three on Thursday July 6, then the Cal Swish and Team Takeover on the 7th, and the Northeast Crusaders on the 8th.
Finally (where Louisville is concerned), next week there’s the Battle of the Boro on July 10-13. Stars Hersch, Walters, DeSart, Amundson, Antl and McAlpine lead the MN contingent. Lady Get Shook Walker and Black, Metro Stars Wiese and 2 Tayler Hill Elites are scheduled to play, as best as we can determine. Stars Amundson and Lady Get Shook Walker find themselves in the same pool in the Sophomore Showcase Division.
Also This Weekend (July 6-8)
As if the Run 4 the Roses and UA Cup weren’t enough, this same weekend you’ve got action in Ames, IA (Simply the Best), Indianapolis (the Premiere Showcase) and Frisco, TX (the PBR Showcase).
Twin Cities teams used to travel down I-35 to Ames in large numbers, but no more. Simply the Best has three of Tartan’s #2s—11th Elite, 10th Elite and 9th West—and a pair of Comets teams—11th Elite and 10th Elite—this year.
Meanwhile, Comets 9th Elite and 11th Select are headed to Indy for the Premiere Showcase.
The Fury has four teams in Frisco, TX, for the PBR Showcase. Those are the 2018 Elite, 2018 Gold, 2019 Blue and 2020 Blue.
The Week of July 9-16
Obviously, the calendar begins to stretch and strain in July as the Nike Tournament of Champions, for example, runs from Sunday through Wednesday, July 9-12. Tartan will be there with the 11EY, 11E, 10 EY, 10E, 9, 9 West, 8 Kuppe, 8 West and 8 Coley. Four Fury teams will buzz up from Texas to Chicago for the tournament, where Fury 2019 Gold, 2020 Gold and 2021 Blue will join them, along with So Minn Fury 2018 E, 2018 Gold, 2020 E and 2020 Gold. Comets 11E and 10E will also be in the Windy City.
This one goes against the Battle of the Boro. The Stars favor the Boro rather than the Nike event.
That same week, from July 13-16, the West Coast Nationals are played in Vegas and Tartan Coley will be skipping from Chicago to Vegas to participate here as well.
North Tartan Meltdown
The Meltdown pretty much closes out the local club season July 23-25 which, if my calendar is correct, is Monday through Wednesday. We’ll have a big preview of the Meltdown at a later date but for now we’ll just note that right now it looks like there will be 24 local participants in the 4 age groups that we cover. As a generalization, the younger girls are mostly done for the season by now anway.
But, even after the Meltdown, three events remain though only one of them is really significant in these here parts. That is the Battle of the Best, where Tartan and the Fury could potentially duke it out one last time. Meanwhile, NT 8 Coley continues to march to a different drummer, heading down to the UA Midwest Challenge in Ankeny, IA, while Metro Stars Wiese wraps things up at The National Championships in Atlanta.
And, then, finally, blissful rest. (Yeah, right.)