Conor Barrett and Sam Lane were almost always sure lacrosse would be part of their lives.
But the graduates of Washington College in Maryland weren't sure they'd ever find another team like the one they did during their collegiate days on the East Coast.
"I didn't even know that lax was big out here," said Barrett, who graduated from Washington College in 2006. "Coincidentally, we have a really good Steamboat men's team here. I really wasn't expecting there to be any play out here."
Two years ago, Barrett and Lane moved to Steamboat Springs. They moved separately after playing for three years together at Washington College, where the duo played attack for one of the top Division III teams in the nation.
The team won conference championships in 2002 and 2004, and in 2004 made it to the Final Four, where it lost, 13-11, to powerhouse Salisbury University.
They each were recruited out of high school - Barrett from New Jersey and Lane from Connecticut. Each had Division I offers but decided on Washington College, where the competition is almost as good as Division I.
"The top two or three Division III teams would be top 10 in Division I," said Lane, a 2007 graduate.
As both play attack, they started to get to know each other pretty well. Barrett knew he wanted to move west and found himself in Steamboat. After Lane graduated, he called Barrett to get the phone number of a friend.
"I called Conor looking for that phone number," Lane said. "He was like, 'I live in Steamboat right now.' I was like, 'No (kidding). I'm moving out there next week.'"
The two were looking for opportunities to play lacrosse. Lane initially looked into coaching before the duo met former Steamboat lacrosse captain Dave Shively, who encouraged the two to come out and play for the Bonesaws.
After Shively left the team and Colorado before this season, there were some questions about whether the Bonesaws still would exist.
That's not a problem when players such as Barrett and Lane are around.
"As long as I'm here, I'm going to play," Barrett said. "I want to play for as long as I can."
The two were integral parts in helping the Bonesaws win the consolation bracket at a tournament in Breckenridge last weekend. The tournament usually draws some of the top club teams from across the state. Multiple pros and former Division I stars dot the rosters.
Barrett, who saw the Aspen team he played with go 1-4 at the same tournament last year, saw Steamboat go 4-1 this year.
"I was really surprised we did so well," Barrett said. "The competition level was really high."
The two now are gearing up for an Aug. 15 and 16 tournament in Aspen. Although each has played a higher level of lacrosse, they said playing on the Steamboat team is something they're glad to be doing.
"In Breckenridge with the Bonesaws, it was an eclectic group of guys," Lane said. "But we were able to bring some teams down. We've been practicing one day a week for the last two months and handled them really good. We have no hot shots or big egos. It makes it fun."