2020 Virtual Program

From the Directors

Normally the week before the Shootout is when the diehards begin to gather in Vail and reminisce, misinterpret and remember the adventures that have found us in the Vail Valley. There are way too many memories from our 47 years in Vail to put into this post, but here are a few highlights.

We have been touched over the decades by so many great volunteers and attendees who have wandered into Vail with us for 48 years (many by sheer muscle memory this year).  The Shootout paused, but is ready to move on, built on your dedication, love of the sport, and desire to gather as family in Vail. 

Our love and thoughts go out to those affected by the world changing events of this year. That may include the entire population of Earth by now. 

To the Town of Vail: We will be there in small groups in masks instead of helmets this year but we look forward to returning to the fields in 2021!

Back in the Aspen Days

lacrosse teamOver the years I've seen a lot of games and a lot of epic games with legends like Jimmy Lewis, Ted Bauer, the Hardin brothers, the Gait Brothers, Dave Pietramala, Bill Beroza, Vinny Sombrotto and on and on, however, my favorite memory has to be the 1977 SWLA (Texas) Championship team. We were the first team, in 1976, to come from out of state to play in the tourney, Coached by the legendary Earl Bill. We were so young we played against the Colorado College alums (or at least I think we did) in the semis, a team that featured a youthful Jim Soran and Flip Naumburg. If memory serves, we won a very close one by 1 or 2 goals. Then, we beat the Denver team on the main field in downtown Aspen by 3 or 4. 

So while the tourney has had great teams over the years, the California boys, Long Island, the Panners, MT Washington Tavern, MAB Paints, Lacrosse Unlimited, etc, that 77 SWLA team stands out to me, as it was my first title. The tourney was a small gathering then and was a foreshadowing of what a great tourney it would evolve into. Proud to say I was on a Championship team in the early days.

-Chip Flanagan
SWLA (Southwest Lacrosse Association), Team Texas, the Magic Wands, Los Viejos and Los Abuelos.

Team Colorado lacrosse team

Here is the Colorado team from 1985, who upset Baltimore and lost to Long Island in the finals during an overtime game.

Some of the players:
Jeff Phillips-Strain
Dave Devine
Otto Wimer
Tom Raynes
Brion Salazar
Dave Traylor
Alan Smiley
Coaches – Rick Cobb/Tommy Kay
(Submitted by Tom Raynes)

The 90s

The Streaker
We used to have a chain link fence around the field, and the game was being broadcast. Yes, a streaker made his dash during a timeout and made it to the other end of the field, where he thought hopping the fence was a good idea to avoid security. I wasn't going to try and stop that.  He may have underestimated the hanging drag force and promptly was hung up to the largest groan and smallest moment of silence in tournament history.  He limped off through the parking lot to the east to seek a damage report.

Tournament Socials at Gartons
The teams and staff would gather at this historic watering hole, which was located very close to the field and had a tremendous deck. Young men and women seeking adventure decided a good hike was in order, so they bet on who could climb to the rock high up on the north side of the valley. Most of the competitors being from sea level, this noble trek took over an hour with a sheer climb in short order. The cash prize on the deck grew accordingly. Illegal gambling on teammates was strictly prohibited. We probably had draft dodgers then, but no Draft Kings. Thankfully the traffic on I-70 was not as busy as it is now. 

Jerry Trout was a key staff member for many years.  He photographed the tourney, wrote about it and probably still holds the record for fastest time from the Denver airport to Vail. He was such a wonderful and generous contributor to the event and had crabs flown in for one of our evening dinners. The crustaceans were shipped overnight to the tennis center that still sits at the eastern edge of Ford field. Poor Jerry forgot that the Center actually closed at some designated hour and the catch was lost to spoilage for the holiday.  We did pound away on a new batch of them in subsequent years. The tennis center was avoided for the remainder of the event.

-Dave Soran
Tournament Director

1985 Team Colorado

Share your story with us! Send your favorite Shootout memory, or memories, with photos to media@vaillacrosse.com

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