Steamboat Springs Last weekend was a historic moment for the Steamboat Springs boys lacrosse team as it opened the first season in the school's history.
Now come even bigger challenges.
The Sailors dropped three games and won one last weekend as they played against Columbine's junior varsity team Friday and in a junior varsity tournament in Boulder on Saturday. This weekend, the Sailors will take their game to the next level when they go up against Englewood and Rangeview's varsity teams.
Steamboat won its first game 9-6 over Rangeview's junior varsity team.
The Sailors sealed their first win in the third quarter against the Raiders. At the end of the half, the Sailors were leading 4-3 but stepped up the offensive attack in the third quarter and outscored the Raiders 5-2.
"In the third quarter, we controlled the ball on offense and defensively played very solid and didn't give up any easy goals. When everyone is working on the same page, things go really well," coach Bob Hiester said.
This weekend marked just the second time that most of the Sailors had played on a regulation-size lacrosse field. And as the weekend progressed, Hiester said so did his players.
"They did a nice job of picking up the feel of the game," Hiester said. "Things got better and better."
Before playing Rangeview, Steamboat lost a close 5-4 game against the combined junior varsity team of South and Thomas Jefferson. The Sailors fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game. But South and Thomas Jefferson secured the win when the goalie saved a last second Steamboat shot that would have sent the game into overtime.
Steamboat started off the weekend with a 10-1 loss to Columbine.
The Rebels jumped to an early lead with four goals in the first quarter and two more in the second. By the second half, Hiester said the Sailors started adjusting to the field as they slipped in a goal and held the Rebels to four.
The Sailors also lost to Regis 12-2 in Saturday's junior varsity tournament.
In the backfield, Hiester said Jeff Coates and Wayne Cluster had a good weekend in the goal cage and Jeff Albright was a strong defender.
Greg Packer led the team with five goals. Robert Loveland had three goals and an assist, Henry Howard and Luke Stucky had two goals each and Patrick Rogers and Jeremy Youngs had one apiece.
Hiester said the Sailors still need to work on stick skills and making the crucial passes in front of the cage.
"Most of our goals were unassisted. We need to handle the stick and be better in running the pass that sets up the easy goal," he said.
The Sailors travel south to play Englewood Friday and Rangeview's varsity team Saturday.