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A preview of lacrosse to come

Luke Graham
Vail, CO Colorado
Steamboat's Tyler Ostrom, left, makes contact with Battle Mountain defender Mia King during the game at Gardner Field in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday afternoon.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado ” It’s pretty easy to find a lot of similarities in the Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs boys lacrosse teams.

Both being from mountain towns, the two teams make the best of fruitful spring weather. The two teams reap the benefits of thriving youth lacrosse programs and show potential to compete with larger, more established Front Range programs in years to come.

But maybe most importantly, and judging by Tuesday’s 12-6 Steamboat win, the two teams have a budding rivalry that should make the introduction of the Mountain League next year just that much more fun.

“It ought to be a lot of fun,” said Battle Mountain coach Bob Daino, whose Huskies are celebrating their inaugural year. “We’re brand new and have a long way to go, but these kids love the game and that’s half the battle.”

Playing with a roster that looked very near the hockey one issued in the winter, Battle Mountain gave Steamboat everything the Sailors could handle. Even when Steamboat jumped out to a 6-2 lead from goals by Gus Worden (two),Ian Anderson, Bryce Peters and Brian Bertrand, Battle Mountain battled back.

The Huskies cut the Sailors lead to 6-4 on goals by Barrett Chow and Coleby Henzlik. Then with a man-up opportunity, Battle Mountain clanked a shot off the post that would have cut the lead to one.

“If that goes in, it’s a completely different game,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said. “But we fought back and stayed with it.”

The Sailors followed with four straight goals ” two by sophomore Garret Ehrick and one each by Tyler Ostrom and Jack Spady ” to take control of the game at 10-4 early in the fourth quarter.

Henzlik and Danny Pylam scored for Battle Mountain to cut the lead to 10-6 before Chase Grippa and Spady added late goals to put the game away.

“We’re doing some good lacrosse things,” Hiester said. “It’s more sophisticated lacrosse and with the talent coming up, we should be poised to take the next step next year.”

If all goes according to plan, that next step will be the Mountain League, consisting of Steamboat, Battle Mountain, Aspen, Summit and possibly Durango among other club teams on the Western Slope.

Certainly a big part of that, will be the budding rivalry christened at Gardner Field on Tuesday.

Battle Mountain reminds me of us in the past,” Hiester said. “And we’ve made a lot of progress. I think we1re poised to move up to that next level.”

” To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com


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