Alexandria Aces head east
By: By Eric Morken, Sports Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Being a member of the Alexandria Aces has always had its perks.
The kids who perform with the team not only learn the skills that make them fan favorites; they also get to go to some of the best venues on both the college and professional level.
That benefit reached its pinnacle with the Aces’ most recent trip. The team just returned from an eight-day trip out east that was highlighted by a tour of the White House.
The Aces performed at the University of Tennessee, the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland. They then took advantage of an invite to the Capitol and then to the White House. The team was hoping to get a visit from President Obama, but his preparation for the State of the Union address kept that from happening. That did not keep the kids from enjoying what they knew was a unique experience.
“It’s surprising how much of it they soaked in,” Aces coach Larry Novotny said. “You think some of that history was way before them, but they seemed to be aware of what it all meant. We also went to Thomas Jefferson’s house in Virginia, and they really liked that.”
After their visit to the White House, the Aces were invited to the office of Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Franken ate breakfast with the kids before posing for pictures. Franken was happy to take his place at the bottom of the pyramid in the photos.
“He went next door and cleared the furniture out and they performed,” Novotny said. “He was really fun with it. They really enjoyed it and he spent quite a bit of time with us. He was very personable.”
The group also performed at a high school in Akron, Ohio, home of NBA superstar LeBron James. The Aces performed for 100,000 people over the course of their trip. Their show at the University of Maryland got them on ESPN’s Sportscenter.
It is these experiences that make performing with the Aces so memorable. From performing on college campuses around the United States to a tour of the White House, one never knows what opportunities will arise with the program.
“When I hear about it the most is when kids get to college,” Novotny said. “They come back and say, ‘that was the best time I ever had, and I can’t believe I got all those opportunities.’ ”