The Dakota Fields Sports Complex parking lot was overflowing with cars Saturday as 80 teams from South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska came to Rapid City for the Rushmore Cup soccer tournament.
The tournament is put on the Black Hills Rapids soccer club and has a boys' and girls' tournament for teams in the under-8 division to the U-19 division. The tournament is also separated by skill level. The World Cup (Club, Premier, Select, Division I and advanced teams) and the Olympic (Division II, III and recreational teams) level.
It is the second year of the nearly 30 years of the tournament that it has been at the Dakota Fields complex, which tournament director Troy Anderson said should help the tournament grow.
"It’s great having everyone in the same location, so I think it adds to the success of the tournament when you’re able to have everything in one venue," he said. "We’re starting to see the impact and the convenience of having all of the teams, fans and referees in one location."
Teams came from as far away as North Platte, Neb., Billings, Mont. Minot, N.D. and Yankton.
Anderson said the 80 teams at the tournament this year aren't the most he's ever seen.
The tournament was moved to the second weekend in June, which conflicts with some other tournaments in the region.
"Every year we see a different variety of teams, we see different clubs, some years we see a fluctuation of anywhere between 65 to over 100 teams," he said. "We’re a little smaller this year, I think the main reason is that we switched the dates of our tournament to the second week in June, I think there’s a lot of tournaments we compete with around our region, but we get a great draw."
The tournament also comes, for most teams, right before regional tournaments and Anderson said many coaches have told him the Rushmore Cup serves as a good warmup for the kind of competition they will face at the regional level.
Championships are this afternoon for the Rushmore Cup beginning at 12:30 p.m.