LAX in the family: Vail Lacrosse Tourney returns for Independence Day holiday weekend
June 28, 2017
VAIL — Grandpa plays lacrosse, and he's darn good at it.
When the Zenmasters division of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout takes the field at Donovan Park today starting at 8:30 a.m., they will represent the oldest stick wielders in town at 60-plus years of age. Some are over 70, said tournament director Dave Soren. Many are traveling from far and wide to be here.
For spectators, the Zenmasters are fan favorites indeed, but the highest level of play will take place in the elite division of the tournament. It will culminate on July 4 at Ford Park with the women's elite championship taking place at 10 a.m. and the men to follow at noon.
For spectators in town looking to catch some high-level sporting action free of charge, you can't beat the Vail Lacrosse Shootout, a local institution now in its 45th consecutive year. Elite competition usually features collegiate up and comers and even some pros. It starts Saturday at the Eagle Vail athletic fields and nearby Homestake Peak School starting at 10 a.m. and continues through the afternoon. On Sunday, elite play moves to the Ford Park fields, where games start at 9 a.m. on Sunday and Monday, again continuing through the afternoon. For Tuesday's championship, the consolation matches begin at 8:30 a.m.
The program describes Team Rokk3r/Lacrossewear as being favored to win their fourth straight title, and even provides pre-tournament odds at 3 to 1 over second-seeded team Big Green Herd at 3 to 1.
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Based out of Miami, Rokk3r is a venture capital firm which seeks to provide investors with access to entrepreneurs that "will have an exponential and immeasurable impact on humanity."
Here in Vail, their lacrosse team has provided quite an impact on the annual shootout, participating in the tournament 16 times before this year and winning six championships in the last eight years. Meanwhile, Big Green Herd has never won a Vail Lacrosse Shootout but is looking to change that this year.
The tournament's program describes the Herd as having a "heavy Bucknell and Dartmouth presence, and a new team name is currently up for discussion with the growing number of Yale Bulldogs."
FREE BOYS CLINIC
John Williamson, 13, is an example of a good, young lacrosse player who happens to be in the right place at the right time. And, like a good, young lacrosse player should, he brought his gear with him on his visit to Vail.
Williamson and his family visit Vail from out of state every year. They're familiar with the tournament as Williamson's brother played in it a few years ago.
This year, while checking out the action, Williamson learned of a free clinic taking place tomorrow.
"I'll be there," he said Wednesday, after learning about it.
It turns out, he won't even need his gear as there will be some there, but he'll probably use his own.
If you're a boy in third through eighth grade, you can join him without even registering. All you need to do is show up at 9 a.m. on Friday at the western end of the Ford Park fields. No playing experience is necessary and there will be prizes.
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