Youth lacrosse tournament arrives

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— Steamboat Springs' up-and-coming lacrosse players will have a chance to show off their skills during this weekend's Steamboat Classic Lacrosse Tournament.

The tournament will feature two local eighth-grade teams as well as fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders.

"Now we are at the point where we have to turn teams away," tournament organizer Neill Redfern said about the event's growing popularity.

New this year is a girls tournament and clinic. Redfern and other coaches are trying to get boys and girls involved in lacrosse at younger ages.

"It should be a good tournament," Redfern said. "Twenty-three teams are coming up."

Most of the teams traveling to Steamboat are from the Front Range, which should make the Saturday and Sunday tournament competitive.

Games will be played at Whistler Field and Emerald Park.

The spring season ends June 4 with a 200-team tournament in Denver.

Steamboat has had a successful spring season with nearly 140 boys and girls in fourth through eighth grades playing lacrosse.

"We have a ton of new players," Redfern said. "Some of the new players are actually pretty good."

The spring season started April 10.

"We were in the Meadows parking lot for a few weeks, and then spring break came," Redfern said.

In the first tournament of the season, the two eighth-grade teams and a seventh-grade team went to the Eagle County LAX Jam on May 13 in Edwards.

"One of the eighth-grade teams won, and the seventh-grade team won," Redfern said. "The other eighth-grade team went 3-1."

There are 37 eighth-grade boys playing lacrosse and 19 seventh-graders.

The sixth-grade team won the Evergreen tournament on May 20 with a 4-0 record.

"This one had more Front Range teams," Redfern said, comparing the two spring tournaments. "The Edwards tournament was mostly mountain towns with the exception of a Fort Collins and a Grand Junction team."

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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