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The Colorado Border War – Reloaded
Defeated Denver Captain Cary Hodges (left)
surrenders the Sapporo Cup to Winning
Boulder Captain John Stegner (right)
NOVEMBER 11, 2011
The tradition of the Border War was born last year and this year’s rematch has been much anticipated. Boulder was able to pull off a commanding win over Denver in the inaugural event. However, even fresh off the battle field, bloody and beaten, the Denver players made it clear that they would be loaded for bear at this year’s meeting.
In preparation for this year’s event, the line-ups on both sides were being discussed months in advance. Denver was feeling confident with the addition of their team captain Cary Hodges to the roster. Captain Hodges quickly made the strategic move to field 10 players rather than the traditional 8, looking to take advantage of experienced pairings and fresh legs in the second round. Meanwhile, Boulder was fighting injuries among last year’s ranks and having to make adjustments right up until game time.
Colorado ordered up another perfect clear and cold night for the match. As the Boulder players fought traffic to make it to the Arapahoe Tennis Club (ATC), the Denver players lounged in the comfort of their club house and began eyeing the Sapporo Cup trophy over frothy beverages. There was a sense of calm confidence among the team as the Denver players reviewed the lineup. Boulder’s captain, having arrived early, was beginning to sweat before the first match took the court.
Brian MacMillan and Curt Corrigan
The first round was over quickly and with the scores posted, Denver and Boulder were tied. Neither side had drawn blood, other than what was spilled due to unfortunate contact with the grit. A few bandages later, the second round began. Players known for their calm demeanor on the court were beginning to scare away spectators as play progressed. The lower 2 courts quickly finished, trading wins and thus the match remained tied. With the top dogs having split sets, the crowd gathered to watch the action. Deep into the 3rd sets, it looked like it could go either way in both of the remaining matches. The event had lived up to its name with unusual intensity on both courts. Finally, following a key point, the Boulder players were able to take a deep breath as they watched an opponent’s paddle arch gracefully over the fence and into the surrounding shrubbery. The momentum has swung to the North and Boulder quickly claimed its narrow victory. The Sapporo Cup would once again return to the fittest city in America.
The evening wrapped up well after midnight as both teams buried the hatchet and the Denver players began lobbying for a rematch again this season. Although a consensus as to the date of the next match was not achieved, it was unanimously decided that Sapporo USA was a most excellent official sponsor.
In the final analysis, the event is greatly anticipated because everyone enjoys playing against new opponents. With Colorado being a small platform tennis market, it is always refreshing to cross swords with a new talented player.
Come check out the action for yourself and plan your next ski vacation around one of the great tournaments Colorado has to offer. Upcoming events include the Colorado Mixed Open, Women’s Open, Men’s Open and the premier Arapahoe Invitational on February 24th-26th.
(l-r) Denver: Dan Magee, Randy Swenson, Dave VonGunten, Riley Meyer, Derek Bond, Dan Washburne, Kent Lemon, Ed Hays, Bob Brown, Cary Hodges.
Boulder: John Stegner, Tom Houlihan, Curt Corrigan, Pete Walters, Jim Bray, Brian MacMillan, Brock Borman, Andy Smith