Triple Crown is expecting 120 youth teams to arrive later this week for the first baseball tournament of the summer.
But not all the players will be visitors to the Yampa Valley.
The Northwest Colorado Lynx will compete in the 11-and-under division, the Tri-County Trojans and Steamboat Springs Sailors will take the field in the 12-and-under division, and Steamboat will field a tournament team in the 14-and-under division.
"That's a pretty good showing for this area," Steamboat coach Mike McCannon said. His team will play the first game of the weekend at 8 a.m. Saturday at Klumker Field.
The 12-and-under team will be made up of a select group of players from Steamboat's Little League. McCannon is optimistic the team will be competitive but said winning will not be their focus this weekend.
"This can be a great experience for them," McCannon said. "I want my players to have a good time and hopefully win a game or two."
Unlike the Northwest Colorado Lynx and the Steamboat team playing in the 14-and under division, McCannon's team is not a traveling tournament team.
The Lynx is made up of players from Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Craig and Meeker and will enter this weekend's tournament with high expectations.
"Our goal is to win it," coach Shane Camilletti said. "I think we have a legitimate shot. ... I'll be disappointed if we are not up there."
The team will enter the tournament with an 11-2 record and is coming off a second-place finish in a Division 1 wood-bat tournament earlier this month in Grand Junction.
Players include Isiah Forsyth, Alan Capistron and Charles Wood from Steamboat. Ben Williams, Ben Fulton and Graig Medvesk from Hayden and Dylon Camilletti, Brentton Ivers, Louie Neil and Kulen Turner from Craig. Meeker's Trevor Matrisciano also will play on the team.
The Tri-County Trojans, a team coached by Rich Sadvar of Craig, also will represent Northwest Colorado in the tournament.
Harvey Lyon will coach a group of top 14- and 15-year-old players who have been traveling to a number of tournaments in Colorado and Wyoming this summer.
This weekend, the team's younger players will take the field for a shot at becoming the first team from Steamboat to win a Triple Crown baseball tournament.
The team is 4-8 this season, but Lyon said if his players bring their best game they have a great shot at advancing out of pool play and possibly winning the first-place trophy.
"Our kids have been playing some very good ball this summer," Lyon said. "I know they are capable of winning a Division 2 tournament."
The coach is hoping the team's first tournament win will come Sunday.
Last weekend, Triple Crown hosted 107 teams during a girls fastpitch softball tournament that took place in Steamboat, Hayden, Craig and Oak Creek.
"It was an awesome weekend," said Bill Piltcher, tournament director. "It was a great way to kick off the summer, and everybody had a great time."
The top four squads in divisions with 10 or more teams and the top two squads in divisions of less than 10 teams earned invitations to Triple Crown's national finals, which will be played in Park City, Utah, later this summer.
-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org