The Showdown

Vikings join the Pepsico Showdown


The Pepsico Showdown is the largest high school varsity soccer tournament in the United States. And this year, the Vikings are taking it on.
The tournament’s opening day was Tuesday, Sept. 13. The Vikings took on the Prosser Falcons at Prosser High School. They fell to the Falcons 3-0.
“The Prosser players were very skilled and gave us a very good game. We had a game the day prior, so our legs were a little heavy, which I think affected the outcome,” varsity head coach Chris Reid said.
Due to the loss, the team didn’t qualify for the championships, but they did continue to play. They went on to play the Herscher Tigers and won that game 4-3.
“We had a solid performance against Herscher. As a team we started out a little slow, but once we were down 3-1 in the second half we all started working harder and made a comeback at the end of the game,” varsity co-captain Jared Hoekstra said. “The game went to overtime, then a shoot out. Me, Steven Kirchschlager, Ryan Dowell, and Sebastian Ascencio all scored in the shootout.”
The tournament includes teams from throughout most of the state. It hosts thousands of players from all over.
“It was good for our players to get out of the suburbs and experience a different atmosphere than we are used to,” Reid said. “The players get excited to play different opponents from outside of our area. It’s great to be able to follow along and check the brackets to see who advanced.”
One of the tournament’s requirements is that each team has to volunteer through Buddy’s HELPERS, a non-profit organization. It’s purpose is to get Chicago-area schools involved in volunteer work.
The Vikings will be officiating the Unified Soccer Tournament at H-F Oct. 2 for Special Olympics.
“We are looking forward to volunteering,” Hoekstra said. “We will be out there on the field being a referee, sitting on the sideline, keeping score, or ball running, making sure there is a ball on the field so the games can keep going.”
Athletic Director Dan Vosnos is very proud of the boys being in the tournament. Once he was approached with the idea of being in it, he was all in.
“Coach Reid came to me with the notion of wanting to get in the prestigious tournament, so we signed a contract with [Pepsico Showdown],” Vosnos said. “The Pepsi Showdown is probably the best soccer tournament in the state, and our boys had the opportunity to play against high caliber competition, while at the same as giving back.”
The championships take place on Sept. 25 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Game times range from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Everyone’s invited.
The team’s record is 4-5 and their next game is Saturday at Thornton against the Wildcats.