Rivals come together for Vail Lacrosse Shootout
The Montagues and Capulets are getting together on something.
As the 43rd edition of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout returns to fields from Edwards to Vail today with the beginning of men’s masters, supermasters and zenmasters play, there will also be local favorites who are, in fact, Local Favorites.
Also under the umbrella of the Shootout is the U19 boys tournament, starting on Sunday, and that brings us to the Hatfields and McCoys playing nicely.
Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain School lacrosse are all coming together as the Local Favorites team.
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Huskies and Devils will be wearing the same gear. Next up are Broncos and Raiders fans singing, “Kumbayah.”
Eagle County’s two public schools don’t like each other in anything. The football game in the autumn is the “Game of the Year.” It’s always a packed house for basketball in the winter, and the track teams go back and forth in the spring.
It was almost natural to give both sides lacrosse sticks with which to hit each other.
Battle Mountain has gotten the better of things during the recent years, but let the record state that Eagle Valley’s first varsity win in the history of the program came against the Huskies back in 2008.
Making Local Favorites even more interesting is the addition of lacrosse at VMS. The Devils and Gore Rangers played twice this spring with the latter triumphing both times. The issue was that things got chippy on both sides in the second meeting.
The Gore Rangers’ Luke Verratti and Devils’ keeper Joe Sheldon got into it during the fourth quarter, almost coming to blows.
Both were originally ejected before the referees hand both “four-minute minor” penalties. There is no such thing as a four-minute minor in Colorado lacrosse. It was a settlement, given that Eagle Valley’s was playing in a JV game in Glenwood Springs.
Now, they are all one happy family under Battle Mountain assistant coach Pat Doherty. All-star teams are not uncommon to the Shootout. In the U19 tournament, they’re the norm. While Local Favorites are in Conference C, when the tournament starts on Sunday, the Baltimore Crabs, the defending U19 champs, are a collection of the best from that lacrosse-rich city.
Let the Games Begin
Local Favorites will play its round-robin games at the Homestake Peak School, aka old Battle Mountain. They’ll face Leading Edge at noon. Leading Edge is out of New Jersey and a program designed to showcase its athletes for college play.
At 2 p.m., it’s the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a squad which has a history at this tournament.
Regardless of how conference play goes, all teams will advance to bracket play Monday through Wednesday.
And regardless of how it goes for Local Favorites, playing in the Shootout should be a great experience. All three schools with CHSAA teams are competitive in Colorado. This is a chance to play against some of the best in the country.
After the U19 boys and girls wrap their tournaments on Wednesday, the men’s and women’s elite fields begin on Thursday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.