-Press release courtesy of the PepsiCo Showdown; Photo credit: Bobby Johandes/PepsiCo Showdown
It’s safe to say Sunday (May 30, 2016) will be a day Evanston High School’s Maia Cella will never forget.
The Wisconsin-bound junior, who is one of the top female soccer players in the U.S., was named MVP of the 13th Annual PepsiCo Showdown, which is the largest high school soccer tournament in the U.S.
Instead of a normal trophy presentation, Cella learned of the major honor when she was surprised by the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Cella was escorted from her seat to the field and called into the Cubs dugout prior to the Cubs/Phillies game. Cubs relief pitcher Justin Grimm then surprised and presented the 2016 PepsiCo Showdown MVP Belt to Cella.
The Cubs are the latest professional team to take part in the PepsiCo Showdown MVP surprise. In May 2015, the Chicago White Sox and outfielder Avi Garcia surprised the PepsiCo Showdown girls winner. In October 2015, U.S. Soccer and goalie Brad Guzan surprised the PepsiCo Showdown boys winner.
The 13th Annual PepsiCo Showdown featured more than 3,000 players in April and is high school’s version of the NCAA Tournament. Cella scored two goals and had six assists in four tournament games, leading Evanston to a Final Four appearance.
The entire 2016 PepsiCo Showdown All-Tournament team is listed here.