Youth lacrosse invite wraps up competition

— It was a fitting way to wind down the season.

With picture perfect conditions and three lacrosse games going on at the same time, the Fourth Annual Steamboat Classic Invitational Lacrosse Tournament wrapped up play on Sunday.

"It went well," Neill Redfern, director of Steamboat Youth Lacrosse, said. "There were some great teams here."

Redfern, who has been running the tournament for four years, said the Steamboat Classic is a perfect tournament to prepare Steamboat's youth teams for the Warrior Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Jamboree in Arvada. The Classic had 23 teams in four age divisions including some elite teams from the Front Range.

"It's a great experience for next weekend's games," Redford said about the Jamboree, which draws more than 250 teams from around the region for a three-day tournament that begins on Friday.

Redfern said Steamboat plans to bring five boys teams and two girls teams to the Jamboree.

While no Steamboat team made it to the championship on Sunday, Redfern came away from the tournament excited with the way all four teams played.

"I define success in effort," Redfern said. "All of our teams had great moments throughout the weekend."

The seventh-grade team finished the weekend 2-2, losing in the semifinals against what Redfern called one of the best teams in the tournament in Columbine.

The fifth- and eighth-grade teams both won one game, while the sixth-grade team finished the weekend winless.

While the tournament has grown from 10 teams the first year to 23 teams this year, Redfern said the goal isn't to increase the size of the tournament. Rather, the Steamboat Classic serves as a way for Redfern to get the Steamboat youth teams games against top-notch competition from the Front Range.

"It's really about getting home games for our team," he said. "It's tough to ask a Denver team to make a three hour drive for one game. So instead we put on this tournament."

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