The Boys High School Elite bracket proved to be highly competitive Friday, with three games ending in ties. The only team to make it through Day One undefeated was the High School All Americans first side. They were impressive in three blowouts.
All of the other American teams were winless, including the All American’s seconds, who tied the Washington Loggers and lost to the Ontario Selects and British Columbia’s top team.
The Loggers, an all-star team from Washington state, lost to BC while tying the Ontario Selects. The Selects beat BC and won Pool B, but with a meager point differential of six.
The Utah Cannibals, an all-star team aligned with the US Army Cannibals, managed a tie against the tough Dog River Howlers.
British Columbia and the High School All Americans both entered two sides in the competition, and they mixed and matched on Day One. They’ll settle on distinctly separate 12-man rosters for Saturday’s competition.
“I honestly don’t know who the best 12 are here today,” said All Americans coach Salty Thompson. “Some of the second-team guys are going to shine and some of the best guys we thought were going to be really great on the first team aren’t. It’s not a precise science really, so by the end of today we’ll know who our best 12 are.”
One of the guys in Friday’s top 12 was Calvin Whiting, a South African transplant from Utah United. He’s been on tour with the All Americans before, but for many of the 24 guys in Las Vegas, this is a new experience with new people. Whiting says the team has come together well since arriving on Tuesday.
“The coaches have set it up pretty good. It’s like six to a room, so you’re always in each other’s faces and you get to know one another pretty fast and it’s actually kind of cool,” he said. “Because you don’t know the people, you jell automatically, and when you practice together you kind of have to practice as a team.”
Hovering around the High School Boys Elite field were coaches from some of the top college programs in the country – BYU, Dartmouth and Davenport – all looking from that next crop of talent.
“It’s good. They should be showing interest,” said Thompson of the college coaches. “We’re dealing with a lot of minors, so I like to connect them with the parents. I like to keep a bit of a screen up for the players, but they talk to their parents and go from there.”
The scouts will have plenty to watch when the All American teams face off in the Quarterfinals early Friday morning.
HSAA 1 vs HSAA 2
Ontario vs Dog River
BC 2 vs Washington Loggers
BC 1 vs Utah Cannibals