The sun wasn’t the only thing bringing the heat at the U.S. National Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. this week. From June 20 - June 26, 680 athletes participated in the 2013 National Futures Championship (NFC) for premier competition against some of the nation’s most up-and-coming Under-14, Under-16 and Under-19 players. The medalists in each division are as follows:
Under-14 NFC Champions
First Place Finalist - Vancouver coached by Lucia White
Second Place Finalist - Calgary Second coached by Harold Ferguson
Third Place Finalist - St. Louis coached by Wendy Orrison
Under-16 NFC Champions
First Place Finalist - Tokyo coached by Shawn Hindy
Second Place Finalist - Nagano coached by Jote Atwal
Third Place Finalist - Beijing coached by Tina Cormier
Under-19 NFC Champions
First Place Finalist - Cortina coached by Ken Dias
Second Place Finalist - Athens coached by Heidi Lewis
Third Place Finalist - Barcelona coached by Michelle Finegan
Beside the fierce competition the athletes had as much fun off of the field as they did on it. At the Celebration Dinner parents, coaches and athletes alike enjoyed an upscale BBQ where they created memories to last for years to come. The event started with the opening Olympic ceremonies where all of the teams processed around the pitch with posters and custom designed t-shirts each representing one of 40 host Olympic cities.
At the conclusion of the NFC, participants walked away with a plethora of game knowledge and a scrapbook of fond moments.
Running parallel to the NFC, the Under-21 Championship and Futures Elite Championship (FEC ) were underway at Old Dominion University. The North team won the FEC while team Metro won the Under-21 Championship.
During the tournaments, U.S. National Team athlete Lauren Pfeiffer demonstrated a skill to all FEC and Under-21 Championship players that if mastered has the power to separate the intermediate from the international. At the drag flick tutorial presented by Harrow Sports Pfeiffer gave a step-by-step lesson on how to become proficient in this pivotal skill.
"The mastery of a drag flick is critical on the international stage,” said National Team Director Laura Darling. “It truly is a key to success in the modern game."