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Aug. 26 - 7 p.m. Denver Buzz at Colorado Springs Wolves
Sept. 2 - 7 p.m. Parker Rangers at Colorado Springs Wolves
Sept. 9 - 10 a.m. Colorado Springs Wolves at Denver Buzz
Sept. 10 - 7 p.m. Colorado Springs Wolves at Parker Rangers
Sept. 16 - 7 p.m. Mile High Stars at Colorado Springs Wolves
For more information, and the full schedule, visit www.iblalacrosse.com.
When most people think Colorado and lacrosse, professional teams like the Colorado Mammoth and Denver Outlaws are probably the first, and often only, things that come to mind.
A year ago, Fort Collins resident Brandon Scharaga wanted to change this fact, by bringing top-notch play to the local level.
“The idea was to create regional teams that were full of people from their communities,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities around for young people to play lacrosse, especially in high school, but once you reach 18 years old, opportunities to play competitively really dry up.”
Scharaga’s efforts resulted in the creation of Regional Box Lacrosse League (RBLL) Colorado, a league for regional teams.
The idea is catching on. Similar leagues have been created in Oregon and Minnesota, and the Interstate Box Lacrosse Association (IBLA) was formed to organize national competition.
“There’s a nice sense of local community going on now,” Scharaga, who now serves as RBLL Colorado’s director, said. “Now we’re just trying to get the word out that there are teams full of local players for people to root for.”
The Colorado league has four teams thus far — the Colorado Springs Wolves, Denver Buzz, Parker Rangers and the Mile High Stars, which are based at the Foothills Fieldhouse in Lakewood.
“The Stars team was originally a group of guys put together for a few summer tournaments and leagues, and the core group of guys on the Stars came from that team, with the rest of the roster supplemented through the RBLL draft and free agent pickups,” said Rowan Sloss, forward for the Stars. “Brandon was describing a more formalized and competitive league and I was always looking to play more so I thought it sounded like a good time and I signed up right away.”
The Stars have an A and B team, with about 20 players each.
The RBLL season begins on Aug. 26 and goes until mid-October, where the league’s best team will compete against other states’ teams in the nationals competition. This year, nationals will be hosted in Denver.
“In general, I think the Colorado Mammoth have put Colorado on the map as a premier box lacrosse town with a huge following of fans,” said David Dennenberg, head coach of the Stars, in an email interview. “We suggest you come out and see for yourself how much fun this game is to watch.”
For both Dennenberg and Sloss, the hope is localizing lacrosse will give people an opportunity to watch and learn about a very fun game.
“It is perfect for the Colorado fan who loves hockey and hard-hitting, fast-paced action,” Dennenberg said. “It is a very inexpensive night of family fun to be had and the players are very accessible to the fans and love giving autographs and taking pictures with the kids that come out to enjoy the games.”
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