Rivals join up for Vail Shootout
VAIL – The Eagle Valley-Battle Mountain girls lacrosse rivalry is all of three games old after just one season.
But one theme was already emerging. Battle Mountain had to find a way to stop Eagle Valley senior Stephanie Renzelman, who scored a combined 15 goals the Devils’ three wins over the Huskies.
That changes Sunday because the Montagues and Capulets are getting together. The Huskies, Devils and a few other teams from the Mountain League are coming together as Team Mountain Mania for the girls high school division of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout, starting Sunday.
“It’s actually a little weird coaching a team that has players who are your rival,” said Stacy Schapira, Battle Mountain’s girls lacrosse coach in the spring and now the leader of Mountain Mania. “Whenever we played Eagle Valley, I was always telling my girls, ‘You’ve got to stay on Stephanie Renzelman.’ I’m happy Stephanie’s on our team, instead of having to defend her.”
“It’s nice to get in more games,” said Renzelman, who’s graduated from Eagle Valley and will be attending Colorado State in the fall. “I’m hoping to play on the club team at CSU. It’s almost like we’re extending our season. I think it might be a little weird for me, but it really doesn’t bother me.”
For the record, Renzelman is more concerned with the Colorado State-Colorado rivalry now, and she’s firmly in the Rams’ camp.
A good number
The girls high school division of the Shootout had 19 teams in the field, and 19 is a difficult number for a balanced tournament. So Michelle Secor, who runs the women’s elite and girls high school division for the Shootout, started making some calls about putting together a local squad.
And thus, Mountain Mania with Eagle Valley Devils, Battle Mountain Huskies, Aspen Skiers and Glenwood Springs Demons finds itself in Pool C starting Sunday at 1:10 p.m. against the Minnesota Lakers at Miller Ranch in Edwards.
While any team that enters a tournament wants to win the title, the big thing for Mountain Mania, composed primarily of players from first-year high school varsity programs, is playing experience.
The so-called spring season is not exactly spring in the High County and lacrosse like other sports played in March and April, learned that the hard way with postponements, cancellations and games in the snow.
More time on the field is just a good thing.
Renzelman played in last year’s Shootout with the Idaho Eagles and enjoyed the experience. Meanwhile, Schapira and few Huskies teamed up with Columbine in last week’s Colorado Lacrosse Tournament. Playing as the Mountain Rebels, the experience was an eye-opener for the locals.
“I think everyone just became a lot more aware of how tough the competition is and how much harder you need to work,” Schapira said. “I think the level of lacrosse amazed the girls and they all wanted to get better as lacrosse players.”
After the Lakers on Sunday, Mountain Mania plays the Bay Area Wave White and Team Colorado Red on Monday. Depending on the results, the local entry will be put into the gold, silver or bronze bracket for more games Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vail Lacrosse Shootout
Girls high school division
All games at Miller Ranch
vs. Minnesota Lakers, 1:10 p.m.
vs. Bay Area Wave White, 8:30 a.m.
vs. Team Colorado Red, 10:50 a.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday
Gold silver or bronze bracket play, TBD