QuickStick tourney brings stack of Colorado men’s lacrosse leaders
BRECKENRIDGE – There were so many teams interested in playing lacrosse in Breckenridge this weekend for the fifth annual QuickStick lacrosse tournament that some had to be turned away.
Hundreds of men’s lacrosse players from 16 Colorado and regional teams will descend on Carter Park in Breckenridge this weekend for the tournament that, for the first time ever, will also feature a local team.
“We have a bunch of lacrosse players up here, but they don’t usually have any sort of outlet,” said Diane McBride, recreation coordinator for the Breckenridge Recreation Center, and primary organizer of the QuickStick tournament. “Hopefully, we’ll get a league up here soon, or a team to compete on the Front Range. This tournament falls at a great time because, in Denver, they just wrapped up their season, and it’s a great chance for those guys to get away and come to the mountains. It has sparked an interest in lacrosse in Summit County, too. We have the men’s Breck team now.”
Most of the teams competing in this weekend’s tournament are Denver-based. All teams will compete in two divisions – recreational or competitive.
“The comp league, I can safely say, has the best players west of the Mississippi,” said Robert Gormley, men’s representative for the Colorado Lacrosse Foundation, who will compete in Breck for one of the Front Range teams. “This is like the mini Vail tournament. All the best men’s club players come up and really enjoy it.”
Tournament organizers are working toward including a women’s tournament for the event, and hope to have at least a women’s exhibition game set up for next year. Many longtime Colorado lacrosse players see the sport exploding in the near future, especially with Denver’s recent acquisition of the men’s National Lacrosse League’s Washington Power team.
“It’s going to help a lot with the non-lacrosse-playing public,” Gormley said of Denver’s new pro team, which has yet to be named. “Anyone who played lacrosse, or who has been involved in it, already knew there was a pro league. What this will do for Colorado is publicize it for people who aren’t very familiar with the sport.”
Kraig Hamady, captain of the Breck team competing in the tournament this weekend, has been trying for years to launch a boys and girls lacrosse program at Summit High School.
In the last 10 years, youth interest in the sport has multiplied in droves on the Front Range. There are currently about 45 Front Range high schools with sanctioned boys lacrosse programs and about 20 with sanctioned girls programs. Also, nearly every university and college in Colorado has a men’s and women sanctioned or club lacrosse program, and there are dozens of year-round youth programs available in Denver.
For those interested in the QuickStick tournament in Breck, games will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Carter Park and continue all day. Games begin at 9 a.m. Sunday and end at 2 p.m. with the championship game.
Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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