SIGMA FC's first collegiate showcase was held over a two-day period prior to Christmas in Mississauga and the event proved to be a clear success.
More than 50 university coaches representing the men's soccer programs from the NCAA, OUA, and NAIA divisions throughout North America attended. The sheer number of coaches who made the trip to the Hershey Centre Dec. 16-17 made the event one of the most highly attended soccer showcases held in Canada in 2010. Even more important was the quality of schools attending, with great representation from top programs and conferences like the ACC, Big East, Big 10 and Ivy League.
According to one coach in attendance, the showcase success is a reflection on the top quality of host academy.
"Sigma has emerged as a top flight club in producing players at the next level. Bobby and his team at Sigma, understand what our needs are as college coaches and facilitate them," said Carlo Acquista of New Jersey's Adelphi University.
"The showcase was very competitive in the stand point of players involved and having over 50 coaches in attendance. The quality of programs in attendance was really impressive"
The six participating teams played before the full complement of coaches, who gave the players their undivided attention as all games were played on the full Hershey Centre indoor field.
U.S. collegiate powerhouses Boston College and University of Connecticut made rare appearances north of the border, as did North Carolina State, Michigan State, St. John's, West Virginia, Syracuse, Brown and Penn. Top quality programs from all levels of play were in attendance including quality NCAA Division II and III, Franklin Pierce University and St. Lawrence University. The biggest conference representation came from the Big East with 6 programs in attendance.
SIGMA FC Technical Director Bobby Smyrniotis was pleased with the two-day event, saying the most important aspect was the feedback from all the visiting coaches. According to Smyrniotis, the coaches were impressed with the organization and quality on the pitch.
"With that said, we look forward to building off of these relationships and strengthening our ties in providing more and more opportunities to young men aspiring to study and play the game they love at the collegiate level," he said.
Sigma alumni have made their mark in the collegiate ranks of late. Kyle Bekker was an All-ACC conference player this season at Boston College, while Emery Welshman broke school scoring records at Siena and was named MAAC Offensive player of the year. Jarrett Hamilton garnered first team Summit league honors for his play at Oral Roberts University.
Closer to home, Sebastien Novais helped Ryerson reach the Ontario University semi-finals for the first time in school history. On the west coast, Lucas Ferritto and Manvir Brar played integral roles in Simon Fraser's record-setting first year in the NCAA Div. II.