In an effort to recognize the accomplishments made by the Northwest Colorado Lynx, Triple Crown named it the Division 2 Team of the Year in Colorado regardless of age division.
The award came as a pleasant surprise to coach Shane Camilletti and the five Lynx players who traveled to Denver on Saturday for Triple Crown's Colorado Baseball Awards Banquet.
Hayden's Ben Fulton, Graig Medvesk and Ben Williams, Craig's Dylon Camilletti and Meeker's Trevor Matrisciano made the trip to Denver to pick up individual awards for their 2003 Triple Crown seasons.
But the conclusion of the banquet brought surprise no one was expecting. It was not made public that the Lynx were nominated for the Team of the Year.
"They said 'Northwest' and we started jumping up and down," Medvesk said.
During the summer tournament season, the Lynx won the Division 2 Colorado State Championship in the 10-and-under age division The Lynx picked up second place in Steamboat's Mountain Magic Tournament, in the Division 2 Regional Championships and in a Glenwood Springs' Triple Crown tournament.
In addition, the Lynx finished ninth in the Triple Crown World Series held in Steamboat. It was a Division I tournament, but the Lynx proved baseball in Northwest Colorado can be played at the highest level by advancing into the championship bracket in the 10-and-under division.
Camilletti said the Lynx's state championship was the highlight of the summer, but the team's run in the World Series was a remarkable feat as well for the group of boys from Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.
"Both were big accomplishments," Camilletti said. "But I don't think the kids were satisfied with just getting into the championship round in the World Series. They think we could have gone further."
The original members of the Northwest Colorado Lynx were Matrisciano, Medvesk, Williams, Fulton, Dylon Camilletti, Mason Updike, Kulen Turner, Brentten Ivers, Mark Doolin, Ivan Nielsen, Louie Neil and John Kirk.
Toward the end of the Triple Crown season, the Lynx added four Steamboat players to bolster its lineup during the regional championships and World Series. They were Alex Estes, Allen Capistron, Charles Wood and Isiah Forsythe.
"I think one of the best parts about the team was playing with players from all different towns," Fulton said
The Lynx opened the summer season with tryouts and only 13 players showed up. Nonetheless, the Lynx enjoyed a high level of success in Triple Crown events that is rare for teams from Northwest Colorado.
"We were a good baseball team because everyone played together and played as a team, and we had a good coach," Williams said.
Based on the summer results, the Lynx garnered five nominations for the 15-person All-Colorado 10-and-under Division 2 team. The Northwest Colorado team was only one of 12 teams regardless of age classification to be awarded five representatives.
The All-Colorado team consists of the top 2 percent of baseball players who competed for Triple Crown during the summer.
Camilletti, Medvesk, Williams, Fulton and Matrisciano were honored at the formal banquet held Saturday at The Plaza at Denver Merchandise Mart. More than 700 coaches, players and parents attended the banquet.
It was the first time Medvesk remembered having to wear a tie, he said.
"Baseball is just a fun thing to do during the summer," he said. "I didn't think we would be this good, but everyone started getting down and playing really well."
Camilletti said a great deal of thanks has to go to the sponsors of the Lynx who helped defray the costs of tournament entrance fees, travel costs and uniform purchases for the youth team. The sponsors were Mountain West Insurance, Bower Brothers Construction, Tri-State Equipment, Craig Lanes, Craig Fire & Safety, Twenty Mile Coal, McDonald's, MEW Farms and Doug Wood.
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