NIKE Palmetto Cup moving to Saluda Shoals in 2018Thomas Grant, Jr.•
Thu, Jun 29, 2017
Top soccer teams have flocked to Cayce and West Columbia for the NIKE Palmetto Cup for 26 years.
Starting next year, the 3-day tournament will move.
Co-founder Kevin Heise confirmed plans to move the NIKE Palmetto Cup to Saluda Shoals Park off St. Andrews Road April 3-5 in 2018.
"The Saluda Shoals Complex is a beautiful facility that is perfect for a tournament,” Heise said.
"The expectation for the NIKE Palmetto Cup is to be played in a top venue and this fits the bill. The Saluda Shoals Complex has six fields which allow for simultaneous play in true tourney format.”
Throughout Heise’s 28 years at Brookland-Cayce, the NIKE Palmetto Cup was jointly held between his school and Airport High.
StudentSports.com named it "The Southeast’s Premier Boys High School Soccer Tournament” as teams from as far away as Oklahoma and Puerto Rico competed.
The move coincides with his accepting the head coaching job at Gray Collegiate Academy.
A total of 18 teams, including Gray Collegiate, Gilbert, Lexington and Class 5A champion and 5-time NIKE Palmetto Cup champion Wando, have signed up. Heise said he has a good relationship with Nike and it will remain a sponsor.
Gregg Pinner, President of the Greater Cayce/West Columbia Chamber and Visitor’s Center, said while not surprised by the development, he admitted it’s a "slight blow” to the local economy.
As for the Crescent Cup, no decision has been made yet. Heise said Airport High would continue to be a host, but school officials were unavailable for comment.
Attempts to reach Brookland-Cayce athletics director Rusty Charpia were unsuccessful. NIKE Palmetto Cup moving to Saluda Shoals Complex