Before summer slips too far into its second half, I thought I’d report in on late June’s Vail Lacrosse Shootout.
This was my fourth lax trip to Vail. My first was over four decades ago when I was a rising college junior and the tournament was then held in Aspen. Back then I played for the Denver Lacrosse Club and we won the 1974 Shootout, beating the Mountain Stickmen — whose defense was anchored by my Bowdoin College teammate, David Barker (Lacrosse is a very small world.) — in the finals.
Twenty-eight years would pass before I would again take the field in the Rockies, this time in 2002 and ’03 with a Bowdoin alumni team (Much rather play with than against Dave Barker!) in the 40+ Division. Having grown way too big for quaint Aspen, the event had switched to Vail. (We won gold in ’02.) Walking off the field in ’03 — actually, given the 8,150′ altitude, “wheezing off the field” is more like it — I assumed that I had played my last game at Vail.
And like Al Pacino… “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” A dozen years pass and I’m back in Vail, this time competing in the inaugural rendition of the Zen Masters 60+ Division. (One of the great things about the Baby-Boomers is that we refuse to grow up. As we age, we just keep adding older divisions.)
I had been invited to play on a Texas-based team that traditionally plays each year at Vail under the name “Los Viegos” (translation: the old men). Problem: When you already have a team playing in the 50+ division named the “The Old Men,” what do you call the team that you plan to enter into the 60+ division? Solution: “Los Abuelos” (translation: “The Grandfathers”). Problem solved.
There were four teams in our division: Team Colorado, Mr. Boh (Think Baltimore… Think National Bohemian Beer), The Naval Academy alums, and our Los Abuelos squad. The plan was for each team to play each other in a round-robin format with a possible play-off at the end. Well, since we wound up 3 & 0 — beating the Naval Academy alums in our 3rd contest, we were declared 2015 Vail Shootout Champions. Most importantly, I had a great time with a great bunch of guys.
Looks like I need to return in 2016 to help defend our championship status. After that, who knows. Could there be a 70+ division on the horizon? Ah, just imagine it… Go Bisobuelos!!!
Onward, Malcolm Gauld