Steamboat Sailors coach hoping Red White game becomes holiday tradition |

Steamboat Sailors coach hoping Red White game becomes holiday tradition

— This week will be full of holiday traditions for the residents of Steamboat Springs including turkey with all the fixings, the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions on the TV as well as a day spent with family and friends.

Michael Vandahl understands those traditions and is hoping to build a few more as the head coach of the Steamboat Springs boys basketball program.

The day after Thanksgiving the Sailors will host a Red White basketball game at 5 p.m. at the Kelly Meek Gymnasium. The game will feature players on this year’s high school roster mixing it up on the hardwood.

According to Vandahl, the game is a warm-up for the start of the Sailors basketball season, but he’s hoping the event will be a chance for the community to get to know the players, build some excitement for high school hoops and collect a few cans of food and some good tennis shoes to help the less fortunate in our community.

The game will feature Steamboat’s varsity players, and a few of the teams top junior varsity players going head-to-head in a scrimmage. Vandahl said he may also set up some game situations to work on man-to-man and zone defenses as well as some late-game scenarios that could be important to the team as the season progresses.

“This will be the first time that we’ve done anything like this,” Vandahl said Monday. “We are really hoping to build off of the event and make it something that the community looks forward to at the start of each season.”

He said the event will be a chance for fans to get a sneak peak of this year’s team before the season begins at the Roaring Fork Tournament on Dec. 2.

“I’m really pleased with the effort and the competition that we have seen in practice so far this year,” Vandahl said. “We are worlds ahead of where we were at this point last season.”

Last year Steamboat traveled to the Gold Crown Scrimmage Days, but Vandahl wasn’t sure how valuable those scrimmages were. So this year, he decided to keep the team home.

“I think it is a lot better to stay here and make a community event out of it,” Vandahl said. “It’s also a great opportunity for our boys to give back, and hopefully, we can get some people in the stands and build some momentum for the start of the season.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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