Vail Rugby second at Ski Town; Steamboat next |

Vail Rugby second at Ski Town; Steamboat next

PARK CITY, Utah – When it comes to summer rugby, it used to be an Aspen-Vail thing. It now appears to becoming an Aspen-Steamboat-Vail thing.

The Vail Rugby Football Club suffered its first loss of the season Sunday in the Ski Town Tournament final to Steamboat Springs, 33-3, in Park City, Utah.

The Blue and White had defeated Steamboat, 12-0, at the Vail Athletic Field in June in the first of two league fixtures as a part of glittering 10-0 start to the 2010 season.

But Vail met up with a slightly different Steamboat side Sunday, one a wee bit enhanced by some Aspen players. All’s fair in love and war and rugby.

Steamboat’s win at Ski Town was nice revenge for Vail being “poor” guests winning the Cow Pie Tournament up in Routt County two weeks ago. And Vail and Steamboat get to go at it all over again on Saturday in their second Mountain League fixture of the season, presumably with a little less Aspen present up at Gardner Field for the rematch.

The winner of Saturday’s game has the inside track to the Mountain League title. Vail won the crown in 2006 and 2008, while Steamboat climbed to the top of the heap in 2007. There was no league title contested last year because of the economic downturn.

In the meantime, Vail routed host Park City, 36-12, in the Ski Town opener, and then dispatched Missoula, Montana, 28-21, in the semifinals. More importantly, when it comes to Ski Town, Vail had a good time as well off the pitch.

“It was a spectacular weekend for the club,” said the team’s president Chris Chantler. “All the guys got along and had a blast, and that’s all I’m saying.”

And that keeps in rugby tradition that what happens on the road for weekends such as these stays on the road.

Vail, carrying just 17 players to Utah, got stout contributions from Old Boys like Tim Parker, Cameron Turner, Phil Bennett as well as player/coach Shawn Van Randsburg.

After, Saturday’s grudge match at Steamboat Springs on Saturday, Vail is home for the Denver Harlequins on Aug. 7 and then for the Mountain League finale with the Blue Goose of Breckenridge.

Freedom second in Vail tourney

VAIL- Those indoor soccer guys can play outdoors, too.

The WECMRD Freedom indoor soccer team took their act to the regular pitch this weekend and finished second in the Vail Invitational Soccer Tournament.

Playing as the Freedom Gold in the tourney’s gold division, the locals won their pool, finishing ahead of Real Colorado, the Rovers and F.C. Denver. The Freedom took down Pars/America, 1-0, in Sunday’s semifinal before falling to Centauros, 3-1, in the final.

The Freedom was bidding to become the first local side to win the Vail Invitational since 1998 when Pepi’s turned the trick. Speaking of Pepi’s, the traditional local entry in this tourney, went 1-2 in its pool and failed to qualify for crossover play.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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