Regardless of the high school team you support, we are one community (letter) | VailDaily.com

Regardless of the high school team you support, we are one community (letter)

The Battle Mountain Huskies boys' lacrosse team played an emotional quarterfinal playoff game last Friday, May 11, in Battle Mountain stadium. They played hard and heartfelt through injury and pain. They gave it their all and fell short by 1 to Aspen, a longtime rival school in the mountain communities, ending their playoff bid.

After the game, the parents and students stayed on their feet to cheer their boys off the field for an amazing season. As we let our boys know in solidarity we were proud of them, behind them and still standing in reverence for them even in the final defeat, and cheered them through the channel between the visitor and home stands, the Aspen fans joined us in our support. They, too, rose and cheered our boys, Battle Mountain boys, on as the left the field for the last time this season. I was impressed and moved and inspired by humanity.

We may be rivals on the field, in any arena, but we are also the same. We are parents of kids we would do anything for to give them the best experience possible and launch them into adulthood as best we can. We played catch in the backyard, we got them to peewee sports programs, we lost sleep and got some accumulating grey hairs. We are the classmates and friends in the bleachers supporting our fellow students for their hard work and strong representation of our schools. We are communities who support our local kids and families as they represent us as a community.

I recently returned to the Vail Valley after growing up here and graduating from Battle Mountain 31 years ago. I was in the stands because I was a proud Husky many moons ago; I did not have a child on the field. I was there to support my community. I saw quite a few parents there together in the stands whose kid was not on the team, but they supported and spent time cheering on their community and their friends' kids. Britney Brown was there with her newborn baby, hopefully a future Husky with her state champion Husky mom and grandma cheering on her alma mater.

I am so happy to have my children having that experience now as they embark on their journey through our proud community. My oldest is a freshman in Battle Mountain High school. And as I reflected on the end of the boys' lacrosse season on the field, and my own experience in this community, I thought about what went through my head when I was on a court or field many moons ago.

I played for my supportive parents some, but I played for my school, my friends, and I played for my community. The thing I remember most as I look back on the impact of my formative years was the love and support and constant reinforcement from friends who always showed up to support all the teams, coaches and whose impassioned energy drove us far beyond what their too-small a paycheck could ever return reward, parents who were what appeared to be everywhere and supporting everyone, and a community where a Battle Mountain "Go Huskies" poster was proudly displayed in their window and they wore their Battle Mountain T-shirt on game day in their businesses.

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We are one community. We are in many ways the same. Whether you support Battle Mountain, Vail Christian, Eagle Valley, Vail Mountain School, Aspen and all the schools that feed into them … we are one, together creating an impactful experience for this generation.

Aspen fans, I salute you. You are our rivals on the field, but you joined our community in support of all the boys. Well done! To our local community who couldn't or didn't make it, I share … you missed a heck of a game and, even bigger, you missed an amazing experience. We'll see you at the next one!

Laura Larson, Class of '87

Eagle-Vail