How fast is Megan Kapp?

How fast is Megan Kapp?

She once helped break a longstanding middle school record in the 4x400-meter relay.

How hardworking is Megan Kapp?

Her high school soccer coach, Chris Hollewijn, was driving home from work on a cold, drizzly Thursday when he spotted her out jogging.

How tough is Megan Kapp?

She once took an elbow to the head in a college showcase, suffered a concussion and ended up bloodied and dazed in an emergency room in San Francisco.

About three weeks later, she was back in the game.

So, how skilled is Megan Kapp?

Upon her return from the painful Bay Area Blur, she scored three goals in a match for Rogue Valley Soccer Club Reign United, reminding Reign coach Dave Potter yet again that the forward is as valuable as pure gold.

"Megan is lightning in a bottle," he says.

This weekend, the 17-year-old Kapp will have all of those skills on display as she and her Reign United teammates attempt to capture another title in the 19th annual Rogue Valley Cup, one of the region's largest soccer tournaments.

Action kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday and concludes Monday with championship games at 10 a.m.

The tourney will include at least 137 youth teams and 2,500 players from Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada.

Every Memorial Day weekend, the event helps to generate an estimated $3.1 million to the local economy, according to organizers. It will include 18 different age brackets with boys and girls ranging from 10 to 19. In total, 365 games will take place at North Medford High, South Medford High, Fichtner Mainwaring Park and U.S. Cellular Community Park.

A goalkeeper challenge called "Goalie Wars" is set to take place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at North Medford High.

The Reign, a U17 squad, will compete in the U16-17 bracket with the Redding, Calif., Bandits, RVSC Power Strikers, Incline Village, Nevada Tahoe Ice, Reno Nitro Heat and RVSC Lightning. It opens play against the Bandits at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Last year, the Reign edged the Power Strikers 2-1 in the U16 championship. Those two squads share a friendly but deeply passionate rivalry.

Potter, who coaches the St. Mary's girls in the fall, said that if a rematch were to occur, the ensuing battle would be epic.

"If we ended up in the finals together on Monday, the girls better get a good night's rest because both teams would have to work extremely hard," he said. "It is always a heavyweight showdown type match."

Other key members of the Reign team include South Medford goalkeeper Lindsey Namanny and wing Claire Bock, North Medford midfielder Kimmy Parker and defender/midfielder Hayley Petersen, Grants Pass forward Kathryn Hostkoetter, St. Mary's defender McKenna Barnum and Ashland defender Aspen Wolff.

Kapp, a junior at South Medford, was named to the Southern Oregon Hybrid first team last year for the Panthers, who finished 6-7-3 overall.

"Speaking on behalf of (assistant coach Alyson Hollewijn) and myself, the thing we were most impressed with is her work ethic," Hollewijn says.

Seeing his player out jogging in unfavorable conditions came as no surprise to Hollewijn.

"She's out doing stuff that other people aren't doing," he says, "and the fact is she is hungry for more, too, and she's told us that."

It's also not unusual to see Kapp at U.S. Cellular Community Park on the weekends with her father, Beau, and her younger sister, McKenzie. Those three love hanging out and practicing together, Kapp says.

McKenzie, who will be a freshman at South next year, is a goalkeeper on the U14 RVSC Surge squad that is also in action this weekend.

"I swear we spend more time as a family because we are all together at the games," says mother Karen Kapp. "It is good for the girls. They are physically active and they keep up their grades."

That's for sure. Kapp owns a 3.96 GPA.

And with speed to match her drive and intelligence, she can be a handful.

"Megan is one of those players who has the striker mentality," Potter says. "She takes players on sometimes when she shouldn't, but she has the attitude and if she's gonna go, she's gonna go 100 percent. And if she wins the battle, she is probably gonna go to goal and score."

And Kapp will do whatever it takes to help her team, Potter notes. In March, she caught an elbow to the face as she charged back to assist on defense during a tournament game in San Francisco.

Her absence was felt.

"We lost her for about three weeks and we couldn't produce goals without her," Potter says.

Kapp began participating in the Cup as a fifth-grader and has only not played once — a stress fracture sidelined her one spring.

"It was hard not to play," she recalls.

Before deciding to focus on soccer, Kapp also competed in track. She helped to break the 4x400 relay record at Hedrick Middle School, and she's always been known as a quick athlete.

Of course, she not's just fast.

She's also hardworking, tough and skilled.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com