Denver Elite, Team 180, DoCo, 3d Colorado Among Big Winners as Champions Crowned at 12th Annual Denver Shootout
DENVER — Seventeen champions were crowed last weekend at 3d Lacrosse’s 12th annual Denver Shootout, a tournament that transformed Dick’s Sporting Good Park into a festival of lacrosse for the weekend.
Kicking off on Friday with an instructional clinic led by more than 70 college coaches from around the country, the Denver Shootout drew boys and girls teams from as far away as British Columbia, California, Wisconsin, Idaho and Maryland.
Teams competed across 13 different boys divisions and four girls divisions. The Denver Shootout, started in 2006, is considered one of the biggest lacrosse tournaments of its kind and this year drew more than 100 college coaches, including staff members from Denver, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins and many more.
The Denver Shootout Vendor Village, always a bustling spot overflowing with attendees, this year featured a Sponsorship Stage, where 3d and 3d Events sponsors and partners had the chance to present as attendees passed through to check out the mix of lifestyle and lacrosse-specific vendors and to visit the food trucks on hand.
STX Lacrosse, 3d Lacrosse’s official gear partner, and Lax.com, 3d’s official retail partner, each gave numerous presentations, as did attending college coaches and representatives from the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse.
“It’s amazing to see the Denver Shootout continue to grow and essentially evolve into a festival of the sport,” said Mike Bartlett, 3d Lacrosse’s Director of Events.
“This was the best year yet thanks to an incredible combination of more than 200 talented teams and the atmosphere created by all the attending families and coaches.”
Saturday night coaches and families filled the sidelines for the All-Star Games to watch four different lineups of players selected by the coaches at the event. The All-Star teams were coached by some of the college staff members in attendance.
Preceding the DSO All-Star Game, a now annual tradition was carried out on the turf as 3d hosted the Unified Lacrosse “All-Star Game,” which gives special needs youth and high school girls and boys a chance to experience lacrosse in a tournament setting.
Founded by a group of students from Cherry Creek High School in Denver, Unified Lacrosse looks to bring the lacrosse community together by offering playing opportunities to those with special challenges. The Unified Lacrosse “All-Star Game" at the Denver Shootout was organized by Jeremy Dorr, a special education teacher who is actively involved in the game as a local coach and serves as the Training Director for Unified.
“There’s so much about the Denver Shootout that makes it a special event,” said 3d Lacrosse CEO Greg Waldbaum.
“As the tournament has continued to grow, we’ve tried to find ways to cater to families and the teams they’re here to support. But we also look for ways to serve a greater purpose, and putting the Unified Lacrosse organization on the field for everyone to see helps a great cause and definitely helps grow the game the right way.”
Other steps taken by the 3d Events staff are aimed at creating a community within the Denver Shootout: at the end of every single game, an MVP ball is given to each head coach and, as a sign of good sportsmanship, that ball is to be given to a player on the opposing team.
“We want people to respect the game and part of that is respecting your competition,” Bartlett said.
“The Denver Shootout has produced some incredible, unforgettable games over the years. But no matter what, we want players, coaches and teams to treat each other with dignity and decency. We saw a lot of great sportsmanship this year, and the games were as exciting as ever. We want to keep that rolling into next year.”
On Championship Sunday, all seventeen of the DSO championship teams took their turn gathering at Championship Plaza, where they celebrated with photographs galore while hoisting the winner’s plaque and wearing official tournament championship hats.
Highlighting the victors was Colorado’s own Denver Elite and Team 180 Lax, two program that saw three teams walk away champions as the dust settled on Sunday. Denver Elite teams won the 2018 Red, 2022 Blue and 2020 Red Boys divisions for a trio of titles. Team 180 Lax claimed the Girls High School, Girls U13 and Girls U13 division crowns.
DoCo Lax and 3d Colorado, also Colorado-based programs, each took home two division championships Sunday afternoon.
“We’re grateful to have a great relationship with so many different club programs from all over the continent, but also with those right here in our own backyard,” Waldbaum said.
“We want to continue to build and enhance the Denver Shootout and make all of our events exciting and fun and attractive to teams, players and families, so we continue to look for ways to raise the bar each year.”
Like last summer, Denver Shootout weekend was kicked off with the 3d Colorado Showcase. A one-day event held at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the 3d Colorado Showcase featured 250 players – all of whom came to compete at the Denver Shootout – and brought more than 40 coaches to the region a day early.
“This was a great chance for all these players to get rid of their nerves and get loose prior to the Denver Shootout in a 3d Lacrosse-style showcase where we distribute play evenly on the field,” said Mike Ryder, Director of 3d Colorado.
“The players get on the field and get into rhythm before the tournament and get seen by coaches beforehand, which is an added bonus. Plus, we hold it in a great setting in Boulder, so the coaches enjoy it and start the weekend off right with an early look at some of the top players attending the DSO.”
Below, have a look at the 17 divisional champions who celebrated title wins at this year’s Denver Shootout.
Visit 3dLacrosse.com/tournaments to see 3d Lacrosse’s full lineup of regional and national events, including next year’s Denver Shootout.
Boys 2018 Red Division Champions: Denver Elite
Boys 2018 Blue Division Champions: Santa Monica Dragons
Boys 2019 Red Division Champions: 3d Colorado
Boys 2019 Blue Division Champions: DoCo Lax
Girls HS Division Division Champions: Team 180 Lax
Boys Red 2020 Division Champions: Denver Elite
Boys 2020 Blue Division Champions: LA Heat
Girls U15 Division Champions: 3d Colorado
Boys 2021 Red Champions: 3d Georgia
Boys 2021 Blue Champions: Westlake
Boys 2022 Red Champions: Bethesda Lacrosse Club
Boys 2022 Blue Champions: Denver Elite
Girls U13 Division Champions: Team 180 Lax
Boys 2023 Division Champions: Wash Park Warriors
Girls U11 Division Champions: Team 180 Lax
Boys 2024 Division Champions: Next Level