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‘Just being a kid’ again

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The annual Evergreen Kickball Classic, while competitive, is all about having fun

By Michael Hicks

There were the Gorilla Warfare, the Kickballers, the Catalina Wine Mixers, Aces of Bases, Remax Alliance and Arvada Young Professionals. And there were players with nicknames such as Toe-Knee, Malibu, E, and Dr. Angelface, to name just a few. Teams had designed their own T-shirts. Some wore tie-dye apparel. But all were having a good time — notwithstanding the final scores — at the third annual Evergreen Kickball Classic at the Marshdale Fields.
Sunny skies and a host of vendors embraced the teams and players June 22 at this year’s tournament, a fund-raiser for the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce. The first event came about in 2011 as a replacement for a floundering golf tournament, chamber president Lin Browning said.
“The golf tournament was not making money, so we came up with this concept,” Browning said.
Funds raised go to marketing efforts for the chamber, Browning said. With kickball growing among adult recreational leagues, the nonprofit chamber looked to capitalize on that and get the community more involved.
Some teams came up the hill, including the Arvada Young Professionals, to not only network with other businesses but to have a competitive-friendly good time.
“For us, we all work 8-to-5 Monday through Friday. We pour our blood, sweat and tears into everything in the business part of our life,” team captain Josh Ingram said. “To come out here and do the kickball thing, that’s just being a kid.”
And for many, that was probably the last time they played the sport, dating to their days in elementary school. Getting re-acclimated with the rules, be it playing with 11 on a side as opposed to nine, or three foul balls resulting in an out, was just part of the equation.
“We had to watch videos on YouTube just to make sure we knew how to play,” said Kellie Lankutis, marketing manager for the Evergreen chamber and team captain for the Kickballers. “I’d tell people that it’s just like baseball, just that you kick the ball instead of using a bat.”
Her team, unlike a few in the tournament field, was made up of a hodgepodge of friends gathered for a good time. A few others, such as Gorilla Warfare and Catalina Wine Mixers, play in competitive rec leagues. Whether a team has been together for some time or thrown together in advance of this tournament didn’t matter. There was one common theme among the players — they were out there to have fun.
“You remember as a kid at the time that you were able to be competitive and also have a good time?” Ingram said. “As adults we don’t often take the time to remember what it was like being a kid.”
On Saturday, though, they made sure to step back in time.

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Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.