State's top rugby teams in town for Cowpie

Classic comes to area for 26th-straight year

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The Steamboat Rugby Club will be looking for a few good men, or women, this week to play in the annual Cowpie Classic at Ski Town Park.

"We are down a little bit this season," tournament organizer Eric Dorris said. "But the other teams love coming to Steamboat and they love having this tournament so we have to keep it going."

The Cowpie Classic rugby tournament has been held in either Steamboat or Craig for the last 26 years. Last year, the tournament enjoyed a strong turnout for the celebration of its 25th anniversary. This year, 11 teams are scheduled to come to Steamboat, including last year's champion Aspen.

"All of the teams will play in one division," Dorris said. "The teams are all pretty even and it should be a good tournament."

Dorris said he expects Aspen to be tough once again this year. The Denver Highlanders and the Wyoming Alumni sides should also contend for the title. The Steamboat team may not contend for the title, but Dorris is hoping to pull a few more players to the sport.

"We have a core of five or six guys who show up every week and really love the game," Dorris said. "But we need a few more."

The Steamboat team practices at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Whistler field. Dorris said Steamboat's transient population has made keeping a team together difficult, but he added that some of the other mountain towns have been able to do it for many years.

Most of those mountain towns, as well as a few from the Front Range, Utah and Wyoming will be in town for the tournament. Play is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday and it will continue all day. Sunday's matches will also begin in the morning with the championship contests taking place in the early afternoon.

Organizers are asking team members, referees and spectators to bring canned food donations for Lift-Up Food Bank. Lift-Up will also sell concessions at the game to raise money.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at jrussell@amigo.net

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