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Sports for June 19, 2008

Summertime Fun  

WALSENBURG-  You can tell when school is out and a change of season is in the air as the boys of summer are back.  With Independence Day just around the corner, these youngsters have been at it for almost three weeks, having played a half dozen games or more.

    The Walsenburg Recreation department has fielded several teams of children whose age ranges from 9 to 15.  Teams are formed into divisions according to age level.  These players have all shown a competitive spirit and eagerness to play America’s favorite pastime.  For these kids, the sandlot games of old have developed into an organized league with playoffs and a chance to win the league and state honors.  Walsenburg is in the Southern League, playing teams from across southern Colorado.

    Last Thursday, the team from Colorado City/ Rye came to visit.  Both fields were in use as the nine year olds battled it out with their peers on one field while the 11-12 year olds had their chance on the other.  There was a clear contrast between the levels of play. The younger Rye team struggled with controlling their pitches.  While most made it over the plate, balls were either too high or dropped by the catcher.  Bases were stolen and runners advanced.

    On the other side of the complex, the older kids seemed to have more control.  The Walsenburg boys have been playing together for a few years and their experience together was apparent as they knew where their teammates were most of the time.  The games were not perfect and errors were made, but everyone came together  to have good, clean fun, learn teamwork, have a competitive spirit and simply enjoy the summer.  For these young future Panthers and Thunderbolts, the experiences of summer will always be treasured.  This summer will hold special meaning for these youngsters- from Austin Howard, who hit safely, to Shane Bobian, who hit his first homerun of the season.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

LA VETA- On June 28, Grandote Peaks will play host to the ESPN National Golf Challenge to determine who will be crowned the best twosome in golf.  La Veta is one of 12 courses from around the state to host such a qualifying event.  Grandote Peaks provides some of the most scenic and colorful sites of all the courses chosen this year and will be a challenge for those who have never played the course.  Aspen Glen in Carbondale and Red Rocks Country Club are the only other courses which offer mountain views.  Many of the finest amateur golfers from around the state are expected to participate as well as some local teams.  This is a unique opportunity to participate in an event with national ramifications.

    The tournament format is best ball of the twosome with the net score calculated after the team handicap is taken and with a maximum handicap of 24 per player.   A separate GROSS (no handicaps) division is included.  The ESPN National Golf Challenge requires a certified and verifiable USGA Handicap to participate.  Winning Net and Gross teams will compete in their respective divisions at the Regional tournament to be held at the Red Rocks Country Club on August 25; then on to the National Finals at the Paiuet Golf course in Las Vegas in October to determine who will be crowned America′s Best Twosome for 2008.  The winning teams will have a chance to play with professionals who will also participate.

     The ESPN National Golf Challenge supports the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

    The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded  14 years ago by ESPN and Jim Valvano.  The V Foundation started with the dream of Valvano, the former NC State basketball coach and award-winning broadcaster, as he battled cancer.  Wanting to see the battle through to victory, Valvano recruited friends and family to lead the V Foundation in his quest to eradicate the disease that ultimately claimed his life.

    Events like this tournament and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life  are just a few of the many activities where sports and fitness-related activities are players in the fight against cancer and other dread diseases.  When programs like these are in your area, participate to show your support.

Black Diamond Bowlers Win Money

by Larry Patrick

WALSENBURG- The Black Diamond Jubilee first annual bowling tournament was held last Saturday at Crown Lanes in Walsenburg.  48 bowlers participated for $360 in prize money.  Ron Eccher won the men’s division in the 9 pin-no tap tournament.  Don Hansen was second followed by Paul Barros, third, and Don Choate was fourth.

    In the women’s division, Tami Westerman finished first while Nellie Barros was second.

    The Chamber made money on the bowling tournament to benefit this week’s Black Diamond Jubilee.

Invitational this Weekend

WALSENBURG- Twenty- two teams have signed up for the Walsenburg Invitational golf tournament this weekend.  If you have not yet done so, there is still time to participate- call the clubhouse at 738-2730 today.      Check out our website at on Monday for pictures and see who the winners were. For complete coverage see next week’s Journal.