North/South Showcase On Tap This Weekend
One of the largest annual high school hockey showcase tournaments in northern Michigan is set to take place this Friday and Saturday at Traverse City’s Centre Ice Arena.
Hosted by the Bay Reps, the North/South Showcase is a 16-team two-day tournament that features five state-ranked programs.
Beginning this year, the fifth edition of the tournament is now named the Rick Deneweth Memorial North/South Showcase, in honor of the longtime area businessman and hockey volunteer who passed away suddenly in November 2016. Deneweth’s two sons both played for the Bay Reps, with oldest son RJ graduating in 2016 and youngest son Chis currently in his junior year.
“Rick was a major influence in the youth hockey, Bay Reps and business community,” Bay Reps coach Ryan Fedorinchik said. “Rick raised a lot of money for the program, whether it was through the golf outing or the annual Veterans Cup with Traverse City Central. He really pushed to build the program, and it was his vision to get the Reps up there with some of the best names in the state.
“We thought it would be a great thing in his memory. We know that he would be real proud.”
What started as a small group of teams with a common open date on the calendar has grown little by little each year.
“This is a great event,” Fedorinchik said. “Each team gets their own locker room for the night, and a few teams make a trip of it, arriving on Thursday. Not only is it great competition, but it’s a great team-building opportunity.
“We would like to see the tournament continue to grow. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room. We already have a lot of interest in teams that have not played in the event before, so it’s possible we may open up the process and maybe have a selection committee. The goal is to get the most competitive teams, year in and year out.”
In addition to the Bay Reps, Traverse City Central, Traverse City West and Big Rapids will also be in action.
Prior to opening tournament play, the Bay Reps will face Division 2 No. 10 Grand Rapids Christian in a makeup game at 7 p.m. Thursday. In all, the Bay Reps will face a trio of ranked opponents over a three-day span, with games against Division 1 No. 4 Grandville and Division 2 No. 9 Marquette.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better set of games,” Fedorinchik said. “Facing three ranked teams is going to be great for us.”
Friday, Jan. 12
Portage Central vs. Big Rapids, 1:15 p.m.
Escanaba vs. Romeo, 3:30 p.m.
Kingsford vs. Macomb Dakota, 5:45 p.m.
Livonia Stevenson vs. Traverse City Central, 8 p.m.
Grand Haven vs. Bay City, 1:30 p.m.
Grand Rapids Christian vs. Marquette, 3:45 p.m.
Grandville vs. Bay Reps, 6 p.m.
Utica Eisenhower vs. Traverse City West, 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 13
Escanaba vs. Portage Central, 10 a.m.
Romeo vs. Bay City, 12:15 p.m.
Big Rapids vs. Macomb Dakota, 2:30 p.m.
Utica Eisenhower vs. Grandville, 4:45 p.m.
Grand Haven vs. Kingsford, 9:45 a.m
Marquette vs. Bay Reps, noon
Grand Rapids Christian vs. Traverse City Central, 2:15 p.m.
Livonia Stevenson vs. Traverse City West, 4:30 p.m.