Although the National Elite Prep Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas, serves as a season kickoff event for Texas public schools, it might play a significant role in determining which team finishes No. 1 in the winter rankings come April. - CLICK HERE for More
HISTORY: Two of the last three FAB 50 national champs earned their ranking with strong showings at NEPS. Three seasons ago, St. Thomas Aquinas went 3-1 and coupled with that season’s surprises in California and Texas, topped what was then know as the POWERADE FAB 50. Last season, Plano West went 4-0 at NEPS and that jumpstarted an undefeated state title run, which earned the Wolves the national No. 1 ranking.
National Elite Prep Showcase Pairings
Jan. 8 ESR Top 50
Every year, like clockwork, late-starting Texas teams inch higher and higher in the Top 50 as the California and Florida powers take their losses and get relegated in the rankings. Now it’s time for the Texas powers to put up – or move down.
Thirty-three teams, with 31 from Texas – including nine of the 11 appearing in the recent ESR Top 50 – will be participating in the 2013 National Elite Prep Showcase (formerly Nolan Showcase) this weekend in the Greater Fort Worth, Texas, area.
The showcase teams are ESR Top 50 No. 1 Plano West, No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), No. 3 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), No. 4 Carroll (Southlake, Texas), No. 5 Coppell (Coppell, Texas), No. 9 Flower Mound (Flower Mound, Texas) and No. 13 Kingwood (Humble, Texas).
Aquinas is at the end of its regular season, while all of the Texas public schools have yet to play.
The key match this weekend is Friday’s 4 p.m. contest between No. 1 Plano West and No. 2 Aquinas, which will be both teams’ third match in 24 hours.
Most of the participants will play four matches during the Thursday-Friday-Saturday event.
While no overall team is crowned champion of the event, the pairings were established pitting a number of nationally ranked teams in head-to-head matches.
What is likely to come out of the weekend is a number of Texas teams with losses, bumping those squads lower – or even out – of next week’s ESR Top 50.
Starting Thursday, ESR will post final scores and match updates on the key contests, the ones that could influence future national rankings.
The following is a list of top Texas players to watch who are competing in this week’s NEPS.
Name, High School, Club, College Commitment (if applicable)
Sophie Groff, Southlake Carroll, Texans, South Carolina
Juila Dyche, Southlake Carroll, Texans, Texas
Claire Wheatly, Plano West, Solar, Illinois
Brooke Ramsier, Plano West, Solar, Auburn
Victoria Bowman, Grapevine, Sting, Oklahoma
Alexis Urch, Round Rock, Lonestar, LSU
Alya Shams, Southlake Carroll, D’Feeters
Whitney Brown, Plano West, Texans
Gwennie Puente, Nolan Catholic, Sting, Texas Tech
Reilly Ott, Grapevine, D’Feeters
Paige Harm, The Colony, D’Feeters, Texas-El Paso
Taylor Cobb, McKinney Boyd, Sting, Air Force
Mimi Asom, Hockaday, Sting
Ravyn Hoelscher, The Colony, FC Dallas
Chelsea Washington, Hebron, Texans
Paige Jacobs, Coppell, Oklahoma
Kayla Peterson, Coppell, Sting, Arkansas
Taylor Braun, Grapevine, Texans, Kentucky
Bridgett Hamway, Grapevine, Texans, Baylor
Ariel Leach, Flower Mound, Sting
Emma Heckendorn, Flower Mound, Sting
Sarah Shaw, Keller, Sting, Texas A&M
Danielle Rice, Keller, Sting, Creighton
Rachel Riggs, Northwest, Solar, Arkansas
Courtney Forte, Marcus, Texans, Oklahoma
Katelyn Mountjoy, Marcus, Texans, North Carolina-Greensboro
Taylor Barg, Plano West, Texans, SMU
Taylor Jackson, Plano West, Texans, SMU
Hailey Hunt, McKinney Boyd, Solar, Stephen F. Austin
Kate Hajdu, Ursuline, Sting
Kelsey Gorney, Hebron, Texans, SMU