The Lone Star Classic Celebrates 25 Years In Houston
If you haven’t heard yet, they do things pretty big down in Texas. Just six months after Dallas hosted the biggest GSWS ever, the city of Houston, Texas and the Montrose Softball League is ready to welcome teams from Texas and beyond to its 25th Annual Lone Star Classic.
A 50 team tournament field will descend upon Space City this coming weekend just before St. Patrick’s Day to get in some great competition on the field and possibly practicing their St. Patty’s Day drinking too. The tournament will offer a 6 team B Division, a 20 team C Division and a 24 team D Division. All teams will be playing under the new NAGAAA ratings guidelines relative to the player rating cap and the team rating cap.
Cedrick Hagan, Lone Star Classic Tournament Director was quick to point out the history of this great tournament. “The tournament began in 1990. Since its inception, the tournament has grown tremendously averaging over 50 teams per year. Over the 25 years, the Lone Star Classic was held over Memorial Day weekend and in 2010, moved to St. Patrick’s Day weekend,” said Hagan.
The host hotel for the tournament is the Hilton Houston Post Oak situated near the famous Galleria in a great part of the city. It is a short ride to the majority of the bars and isn’t far from one of the tournament sponsors, Neon Boots. Fields are always a priority, after all that’s the main reason why everyone will be in Southeast Texas this weekend. The Lone Star Classic will be using two field complexes to keep everyone playing early and often. The first complex will be the Missouri City Community Park and the second complex is the Houston Sportsplex. Both complexes are located in the Southwestern part of Houston and are less than 20 miles from the host hotel. Missouri City will host the B and C Divisions pool play schedule on Saturday morning. After pool play for those two divisions is finished they will move over to the Houston Sportsplex to join the D Division for the double elimination tournament.
The Lone Star Classic tournament committee is looking forward to a great tournament. The tournament has gained some consistent traction in regard to total teams entered in recent years and this year’s tournament director has had a hand in making that happen. “In my four-year tenure, I served as a committee member for one year before taking the reigns as director. Under my leadership the tournament has grown from 42 teams up to last year’s tournament, which was our biggest at 59,” said Hagan.
This tournament obviously has a lot of draws and positive attributes that attract teams. “We have a first class hotel, we provide Texas hospitality and Spring weather,” added Hagan. Sponsors are always a necessary part of running a great tournament and the 25th edition of the Lone Star Classic is no different. Friday night’s registration and welcome party will be held at Guava Lamp from 6 to 10 pm with happy hour drink specials. Saturday night’s fun is hosted by Neon Boots. There will be a shuttle from the host hotel to and from Neon Boots for convenience. If you’ve ever tried to drive in Houston, you’ll want to take that shuttle. Several other sponsors have provided promotional items and other necessary equipment to the tournament including Bud Light, Sports Authority, TPS, Dirt Athletics, Gay Yellow Pages and NW Radio.
Maybe the most important thing is that the weather looks to be outstanding for this weekend’s games. Unfortunately, rain stopped last year’s tournament dead in its tracks, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case this time around.
The Diamond Dish will be in Houston to cover the tournament. Like us on Facebook (search ‘Diamond Dish’) and follow us on Twitter (search @softballdish). Live tweets from the tournament will begin bright and early for the first pitch of the 8 am pool play games. We’ll see y’all in Houston in just a few short hours!
*Thank you to Cedrick Hagan, LSC Tournament Director for his help with this article.*