Thousands flock to Lititz for soccer weekend
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Roughly 5,000 to 7,000 people are expected to be in town this weekend when the Lititz Summer Soccer Showcase returns for its eighth consecutive year.
Teams from nine surrounding states and Canada will compete in the tournament, which will get underway this Friday night, July 26 with boys and girls showcase games and then continue through Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28. Approximately 160 teams will be participating.
Figuring an average of 18 players and coaches per team leads showcase organizers to its crowd estimation.
"If you have 3,000 players, they usually bring at least one parent, sometimes two, and their grandparents," Showcase Director Mike Logan remarked. "So that’s where we come up with about 6,000 or 7,000 people."
On Friday night, there will be three girls showcase games at Joseph Grosh Field at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., and two boys showcase games at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on the lighted field behind Warwick Middle School.
"(College) coaches come in and that’s taken off and done really well," Logan said. "We’ve got over a hundred players, boys and girls, who are coming in to show their stuff Friday night to the college coaches. And then of course, most of the college coaches stick around for the weekend and recruit."
Although the Hempfield Fall Classic in November, which features more than 600 teams, might be the largest east of the Mississippi, the Lititz Summer Showcase still ranks as one of the larger college showcases in the region.
To accommodate all the games, fields will be used on the campuses of Warwick High School and Warwick Middle School, along with those at John R. Bonfield Elementary, Rothsville’s Forney Field and Linear Park.
"We had promised after the construction was all over last year that we would get everything back into Lititz and we have," Logan said.
One of the marketing tools that showcase organizers utilized this year was pitching Lititz as ‘The Coolest Small Town in America’ to prospective teams.
"We really pushed that part of it," Logan said, "and a lot of people have tuned into that because they’re asking all kinds of questions about, ‘Where can they go? What is there to do?,’ that kind of stuff."
More SOCCER, page A15