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Hughey, Little play in Disney Showcase

Fallbrook High School field hockey players Lauren Hughey and Kyle Little participated in the Disney Showcase February 4-7 in Orlando, Florida.

Hughey and Little were on the Vista Hot Stix, which is coached by Vista High School coach Gail Petty and included players from Vista High School, Rancho Buena Vista, Valley Center, La Costa Canyon, and Bonita Vista as well as the two Fallbrook players. The Vista Hot Stix won five games and lost one in the tournament.

“It was just exciting to be asked to go to Florida,” Little said. “I thought it was a good opportunity.”

In addition to giving the players competition against nationwide opposition, the Disney Showcase is also witnessed by college coaches. Little, a senior, delayed signing her letter of intent with Kent State so that she could participate in the tournament. Although she had given Kent State a verbal commitment prior to the tournament, Petty invited Little as well as Hughey to return to the Vista Hot Stix for the 2010 tournament. “Being asked to return after the first year was really fun for me,” Little said.

Hughey and Little had also played for the Vista Hot Stix in the 2009 tournament. Their team finished second in its pool last year. This year the team won all three of its pool games, sending the Hot Stix into the gold pool for the second round of pool play. The Hot Stix won two of three matches in the gold pool, losing to the Peninsula Lightning team from Virginia and finishing second to the Lightning among the four teams in the gold pool.

“It was a really good experience to have,” Hughey said. “It opened up a lot of opportunities.”

Hughey is a junior. Approximately 15 college coaches saw the games. “It was just an opportunity to have coaches come watch me play,” she said.

Little played both defender and midfielder during the Disney Showcase and did not score. Hughey, who played forward, had two goals and two assists.

“It was really tough because the way we play and the way the East Coast teams play is really different,” Hughey said. “There’s a lot of adjusting.”

The Hot Stix had four practices at Vista High School prior to traveling to Florida. “It kind of took us a while to get used to working with new people,” Little said.

Eventually the cohesiveness improved. “We learned how to play well together as a team,” Little said.

Hughey noted that the two Fallbrook players rejoined some Hot Stix teammates from last year. “It was just another opportunity to solidify friendships from different schools,” she said.

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