1st Annual Hotop Classic

1st Annual Hotop Classic
Posted on 03/31/2022

1st Annual Chris Hotop Classic Honors a Great Coach
By: Brandon Schafer

  The Mexico High School Spring sports’ season is upon us, and this year marked the 1st annual Chris Hotop Classic for the Lady Bulldog soccer team. “This tournament was an exciting addition to our schedule, and I was grateful for the chance to play in this event for my senior year,” states senior Mexico High School soccer player, Shelby Kennemore. 

The Chris Hotop classic featured 4 schools this year, from a wide range of areas in Missouri. These schools include East (Kansas City), Owensville, Chillicothe and Mexico. 

Each year, the Chris Hotop Classic will be played on the 2nd weekend of the spring season, with intentions to continue to grow the tournament to an 8 team bracketed tournament. Additionally, the program hopes to bring in schools from all areas of Missouri, with the goal of providing the opportunity for schools to play against competition they might not normally see. 

Proceeds from the Chris Hotop Classic will go to the Chris Hotop Scholarship fund, which is awarded annually to student athletes that display strong character on their respective playing fields and in the classroom. The Lady Bulldog soccer team hosted a jamboree to kick off the season and raised $250.00 for the Chris Hotop Scholarship. A tournament t-shirt was also sold at the event, with proceeds going to the scholarship fund as well. 

The Chris Hotop Classic is played in memory of Mexico High School graduate and former Boys Soccer coach, Chris Hotop. Chris was also known for creating the Mexico Area Soccer Club and the Mexico Angels’, a Mexico youth girls’ traveling soccer team, that current Mexico High School girls’ soccer coach Haley Schafer was a member of. “It was truly an honor to host an event like this on such an exquisite field, in memory of Coach Hotop. He instilled a love of the game in me, in which I hope to pass on to all of the players I have the opportunity to coach,” says Schafer. 

Chris can be commemorated for creating a culture of success around the soccer programs at the high school, and to honor this, Mexico High School named the new turf field after him. High School Principal, Brad Ellebracht, had this to say about Chris’ legacy. “Chris was a role model and mentor who demonstrated how to take care of your family and your community. Getting to do things, like this tournament and the field, in his honor is truly a blessing. It gives those of us that knew him well a chance to reflect on his life and what he did for us.”