Be cool: Check out lacrosse this weekend
BRECKENRIDGE – Apparently, lacrosse is pretty cool, as teams are looking to escape the Front Range heat at the sixth annual QuickStick Tournament in Breckenridge this weekend.
Local players also look forward to the tournament every year because it helps put lacrosse on the map in Summit County.
“It’s great because there’s a lot of people who want to play,” said Kraig Hamady, who will play on one of the two local teams competing in the tournament. Hamady is also trying to launch local lacrosse programs for men, women and youth.
“This tournament keeps (lacrosse) on the forefront of people’s minds,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is get this men’s team a little more consistent and maybe compete in Denver in the fall or spring. We want to get a women’s program up here too and something at the high school.”
“Denver in the summer is a nightmare to play in,” Hamady added. “I’m jazzed. I need to go out and hit a wall with my gear on. It’s a great feeling to get back into it. Hopefully we can keep it consistent.”
The tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kingdom Park and will feature at least 12 men’s teams, some containing Division I players and a couple celebrities from the Colorado Mammoth pro indoor team. Teams will compete in either the competitive or recreational division.
Breckenridge will field both a rec and competitive team and might pull together a women’s team at the last minute.
“We’ve gathered a lot of teams that come year after year,” said Diane McBride, recreational coordinator for the Breckenridge Recreation Center, who has helped organize the QuickStick tournament. “It’s not as big as a Vail (Lacrosse Shootout) event, but it’s gaining a reputation. In years past, we’ve had people that play for the Mammoth come up here to play. A lot of the teams that come up have played together for a long time.”
Mammoth midfielder Mike Napolilli will be among the competitive contingent from Denver to play in Breckenridge this weekend. He will play for the Colorado State University alumni team.
Throughout its five-year existence, the QuickStick Tournament has progressively become more competitive. Although all teams playing this year are from Colorado, in past years, teams from New Mexico and California have made the trip. Long time Colorado lacrosse advocates say the state is beginning to establish itself as somewhat of a lacrosse Mecca.
“Colorado lacrosse is getting really big,” said Rob Gormley of Harrow Lacrosse in Denver, which, in conjunction with Breakaway Sports in Denver, is sponsoring the QuickStick tournament this year. “It’s definitely at a different level than it was a few years ago. Almost every Front Range high school has a lacrosse team now. The (QuickStick) tournament brings the local lacrosse community together and it’s an end-of-the-season escape to the mountains for Denver teams. It unifies everyone who’s into lacrosse.”
Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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