The Westminster AFC College Showcase started on Friday night with four games at the Trailwinds complex in Thornton. Games ran back-to-back on the same two adjacent fields all day Saturday. A wide swath between the turf fields gave plenty of room for college coaches to scout talent before the initial signing deadline next week (February 4, 2015).
Now in its ninth consecutive year, the showcase draws local coaches to watch 80-minute boys and girls games. This year, a total of 24 teams were scheduled in blocks for the first day so coaches could catch the girls in sequence, followed by the boys’ games. Ages ranged from U-16 to U-18 with many younger players gaining the benefit of competing above their pay grade.
Temperatures flirted with freezing and below, but the snowstorm arrived hesitantly, perhaps intimidated by the home snowclassico crowd.
The first showcase more than a decade ago was an informal gathering of a few boys teams at Denver’s City Park. Jim Hunter called collegiate coaches to take a look at the young players in the park, and Hunter is now the showcase director. In 2014, the event attracted 42 college coaches, and eight players from the showcase connected with their current college programs. Teams this year came from as far as South Dakota and Colorado’s western slope.
Western slope players on the U-18 boys team came from Grand Junction, Palisade, Paonia, Ridgeway, Eagle, Durango, Crested Butte, Bayfield, and Moab, Utah.