I-10 Shootout, high school girls soccer, tournament, Katy ISD, Texas

Premier I-10 Shootout starts up 15th year

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 1/8/20

The biggest high school girls soccer tournament in Texas gets under way this week as the I-10 Shootout kicks off its 15th year.

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I-10 Shootout, high school girls soccer, tournament, Katy ISD, Texas

Premier I-10 Shootout starts up 15th year

Posted

The biggest high school girls soccer tournament in Texas gets under way this week as the I-10 Shootout kicks off its 15th year.

This year, the premier tournament has expanded to eight varsity brackets, hosting 64 varsity teams and 48 junior varsity teams representing all four UIL regions. Participants consist of all eight Katy ISD teams, including state titans Tompkins, Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch, along with perennial powers Kingwood, Deer Park, Houston Memorial, Ridge Point, Clear Springs, Brazoswood and San Antonio Johnson, among others.

The tournament begins Thursday, Jan. 9, at Katy ISD’s eight high school campuses and Rhodes Stadium. Championship games for each of the eight brackets are Saturday, Jan. 11, at Legacy and Rhodes stadiums.

Last year, the association awarded a tournament-best 36 $950 scholarships to senior student-athletes.

“We’re excited about this year,” said Robert Vasel, president of the I-10 Shootout association. “The growth in Katy ISD … adding Paetow this year, next year we’ll add Jordan High School. We’ll see where we go from that aspect.”

This is the last year Vasel will be serving as president. His primary focuses have been on scholarships, hospitality and sponsorships.

“I’m savoring the moment a little more this year,” said Vasel, who started with the organization in 2017 as a board member and served as president in 2019 and 2020. “Last year was my first year with brand new board members, and we didn’t really know what we didn’t know. But we’ve pulled together, it’s worked well, and this year we’re more seasoned and calmer about things.”

The association runs with the help of several volunteers and board members. The board members are Vasel (a representative of Tompkins), Marty Hensley (Katy), Maria Nork (Tompkins), H.L. Poole (Tompkins), Roland Benavides (Tompkins), Maria Benavides (Tompkins), Chris Copeland (Morton Ranch), Seth Norton (Taylor) and Cesar Lara (Katy).

Katy High girls soccer coach Dianne Loftin (who arranges the brackets for play) and Katy ISD assistant athletic director Charlie Stevens (who helps with understanding of logistical issues) are also significant contributors for the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

“What really astonishes me every year is how good the people are in this area,” Vasel said. “The community supports the girls, the schools … it’s incredible how much energy and effort people are willingly providing to make sure the tournament is successful. And working with the coaches and Katy ISD … top-notch people.”

There are generally three volunteers per game. Each head varsity soccer coach designates a parent representative in charge of managing the volunteers and hospitality at each campus.

Vasel said the tournament had its most schools return this year. There is even a waiting list consisting of a handful of schools.

“Last year, being my first year as president, was the first time I was able to really get a pulse on what teams liked and didn’t like,” Vasel said. “I’d love to say everybody loved it, but there’s good and there’s things we can improve on. Overwhelmingly, there were a lot of coaches who moved schools and asked to be fit in at new schools. For teams that don’t return, one of the biggest reasons is they’re rebuilding their program and they had a really challenging tournament. But word of mouth is so important, and we have a lot of interest from new schools every year, which speaks to the reputation of the tournament.”

For scores, schedules and other information, visit www.i-10shootout.org.

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