The last time a Steamboat Springs team was in the finals of the Cowpie Classic, "E.T." was a hit movie, the Go-Go's proved they had the beat, and Ronald Reagan was president.
Although it's unlikely that any of those things will make a comeback, the Steamboat Springs Rugby team proved that it still can play.
On Sunday, Steamboat lost to Wyoming in the championship of the Cowpie Classic in a hard-fought 13-3 match.
"It was an incredibly good effort for the Steamboat side to go to the finals," said team captain and coach Michael Hurley. "We played well, but we will just have to come back next year and win it."
The Steamboat side finished the weekend with a 3-1 record. The team's only loss came to a dominating side from Wyoming. That team has won the tournament the past five years.
"They are very talented and very deep," Hurley said. 'They brought 45 players, plus a support crew and coaches."
The Steamboat team played Wyoming evenly for most of the match. At the end of the first half, the two teams were tied at 3-3. But in the second, Wyoming added a penalty kick and a converted try to win the match, 13-3.
Steamboat, which had beaten Boulder, 36-7, in the semifinals, would not recover in the closing minutes of the match and just missed its first Cowpie title in recent memory.
"I think Steamboat won this tournament some time ago, but not recently," Hurley said. "It gives us something to shoot for in 2006."
But although the Cowpie is over, the rugby season is not for the Steamboat players.
Steamboat will regroup this week for a match against Glenwood Springs on Saturday in Glenwood. Then from July 22 to 24, the team will play in the Ski Town Tournament in Vail. Home matches against Breckenridge, Glenwood and Vail will follow the Ski Town Tournament.
Steamboat faced teams from Breckenridge, Boulder, Fort Collins, Glenwood, and Wyoming in last weekend's tournament. The Wyoming team was unbeaten en route to winning the tournament.
Three teams also competed in the Old Boys Division, which was won by Boulder. Steamboat and a mixed team called the Colorado Old Boys also competed.
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