By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/27/11
It is a recruiting event that has emerged as one of the biggest in the country for boys’ lacrosse, says the event director.
Indeed, the Philly Boys Showcase has become a major event for players, coaches and followers. The 3-day event, run by NXT Sports and held Nov. 18-20, brought over 160 college coaches, 559 individuals to the Showcase events and more than 1,300 players in all, when counting the Showcases (at Episcopal Academy), the Pre-Showcase (St. Joseph’s University) and the Invitational Tournament (Episcopal Academy).
“I think from the level of talent and from the college coaches’ perspective, I would say we’re one of the top two or three recruiting events for high school lacrosse players in the country,” said Hayes. “When you look at the venue, the format, and the organization, it’s one of the best lacrosse experiences for any high school player.
“I think the goal this year was to make it a one-stop destination for recruiters. The Philly Showcase weekend delivers three very special events and they come together to make a really great lacrosse experience for Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.”
The event has grown tremendously since its inception two years ago. That year there was one day for the boys’ event, and 325 participants. Last year a Pre-Showcase benefit was added as well as a Girls Showcase to stretch the event to three days.
This year the Girls Showcase was moved up two weeks so the Senior Showcase and a 36-team Invitational Tournament could be added. That helped bring a lot more coaches to see the seniors. The campus at Episcopal features eight fields, all of which are easy to watch games for coaches and fans.
“I think people know it’s a great event and they want to be a part of it,” Hayes said. “We get an incredible report from high school coaches; the response has been great.
“Everyone I talk to is blown away with campus of Episcopal,” added Hayes, the head coach at EA. “They love the fact so many great players are in one place on Saturday and then on Sunday the best high school and club teams all competed.
“There was something for everybody. The coaches, especially Division III coaches, really appreciated having one more look at the seniors on Sunday.”