Lacrosse tourney today

Steamboat men host two Denver teams

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Kevin Olsen couldn't give up lacrosse. He grew up playing the sport in the Denver area and continued playing while attending the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. When he moved to Steamboat Springs two years ago, he assumed there was a men's club team because mountain towns such as Vail and Breckenridge have popular club programs.

He was wrong, so he started one.

A men's club team used to exist in Steamboat but disbanded more than five years ago, Olsen said. The newest team is in its second year and is hosting its first tournament this weekend at the Christian Heritage fields west of town.

Three teams are definitely playing -- Denver-based Altitude and Hooligans along with Steamboat -- but Breckenridge may show up, as well.

Games start at 11 a.m. and will run until 5 p.m. today. On Sunday, the bottom two teams will play at 11 a.m., with the winner advancing to the championship game at 2 p.m.

"I think we have a shot at playing well," Olsen said. "I know it's only three teams, but (the other teams) are mostly adults, and we only have 10,000 people to pull our team from."

The Steamboat men's lacrosse team has 22 adults, nine of whom are high school players. Lacrosse was introduced at the high school level three years ago, and the response has been positive. The desire to play through the summer signifies that.

"We're actually getting a lot of support from the high-schoolers, which is good because they have a lot of passion to play," co-captain Scott Meyer said. "They want to learn how to get better, which is always a good thing. Sometimes the older players want to show up and have fun. The younger kids want to get better."

The tournament has taken a lot of leg work to bring together, Olsen said, but it will be worth it today when the Steamboat team finally gets to host the tournament they've waited two seasons to host.

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