Battle Mountain golfs for U.S. troops in Eagle-Vail | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain golfs for U.S. troops in Eagle-Vail

Lauren Glendenning
lglendenning@vaildaily.com
Eagle-Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado –The Battle Mountain High School football team continued its special relationship with the U.S. Army Friday with its fifth annual Golf Best Ball Scramble in Eagle-Vail, Colorado Friday.

The Battle Mountain Huskies invited about 50 active and retired Army soldiers from the Fort Carson military base, just south of Colorado Springs, to the valley for a weekend of fun and golf. The soldiers get two nights free at condominiums in Vail and Beaver Creek, courtesy of Vail Realty, and a day of free golf at the Eagle-Vail Golf Club.

The event is the single largest fundraiser for the football team, said assistant coach Pat Engle.

It all began in 2004 when one of the Battle Mountain football coaches, who was also a veteran, thought of calling some of his buddies at Fort Carson to bring them up to the valley to golf. Six soldiers came that year, and the number has doubled every year since, Engle said.

The school finds sponsors throughout the valley, from businesses to families to individuals, to sponsor a military golf team.

The Battle Mountain football players help host the event, putting in volunteer hours during the event just one day after the last day of school. They know their work will pay off – last year the fundraiser brought in more then $20,000 Engle said.

The Eagle County School District gives the football team $3,500 for the year, but when equipment costs run a lot higher than that, the team has to find ways to raise big money, Engle said.

“That’s not enough (money) to run a football program,” he said.

A new helmet runs about $175; shoulder pads are anywhere from $100 to $200; new jerseys are about $100 a pop – and the Battle Mountain Huskies are fed a hot meal after every home and away game.

It adds up, Engle said.

The fundraiser isn’t all about the money, though.

“We also do it for the troops,” said head coach David Joyce. “It’s a good weekend escape (for the troops).”

The troops get something out of it too, beyond the free weekend in the mountains, said Sgt. Maj. Greg Ford.

“It’s good for us to get out with the community,” he said. “We all have a common goal.”

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com