The National Elite Prep Showcase is arguably the top girls high school showcase in the country and each year it gets even better. This year was the events 14th year and the teams didn't disappoint. CLICK HERE to see Video Highlights.
The teams not only impress during the actual event but continue to impress throughout the year. "We started the event to prove that high school girls soccer can produce quality and is an environment where college coaches can recruit," said NEPS director and Nolan Catholic head coach, Jay Fitzgerald.
The event started with 4 teams in 2000 and now has over 40. The best teams come in from all over the country including California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and of course North and South Texas.
The first decade of the event it was called the Nolan Showcase and then Nolan Catholic teamed up with Southlake Carroll and changed the name to the National Elite Prep Showcase. Both the Southlake Carroll and Nolan Catholic women's soccer programs are nationally respected teams and find themselves contending for State Championships each and every year.
The 2015 NEPS field of teams included 14 of the Top teams in the country, 2 of which, were #1 at times throughout the year. Coppell from North Texas and Cathedral Catholic from Southern California both spent time atop the national polls. Coppell finished the year with an undefeated record, a UIL 6A State Championship, and as the nations #1 team.
Coppell head coach Chris Stricker and his Cowgirls have been competing in the event for the last decade. Stricker mentioned, "Not only do you get to play in the #1 tournament in the country, you get to truly see what you are made of and where your holes are as a team. You know if you get through NEPS unbeaten you could be in for a special year."
Other teams such as Bishop Lynch, Austin Vandergrift, Ursuline, American Heritage from Plantation Florida and host Nolan Catholic all advanced to their respective State Final Four Championships. Bishop Lynch won their first State Championship and American Heritage won the Florida 3A State Championship.
Eight of the Top 10 teams in the country are former and/or current NEPS participants.
Fitzgerald commented, "Our event gets the year started for all these teams, teams find their identity, and the competition is the best in the country."
Southlake Carroll head coach and NEPS Co-Director Matt Colvin said, "You get to witness some of the most exciting match-ups in country. It is the best of the best."
Two new teams accepted our invitation for the 2016 event. Montverde Academy from Florida is the nations #10 team currently and had their 19 game win streak broken in the last game of their season. Corona Del Mar from Newport Beach, California will be included as well.
NEPS16 is slated for Jan. 7-9, 2016 at the brand new Doskocil Stadium on the campus of Nolan Catholic High School, as well as Dragon Stadium, Keller ISD Stadium, and Gateway Park.