Cousin rivalry a Steamboat and Battle Mountain lacrosse tradition |

Cousin rivalry a Steamboat and Battle Mountain lacrosse tradition

Steamboat Springs High School junior Lowen Epstein runs from a pack of Battle Mountain players, including his cousin Husky senior No. 22 Mac Schmidt on Tuesday, April 2, at Gardner Field. (Photo by Leah Vann)


Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Battle Mountain’s Mac Schmidt was a junior. The story has been updated to say he is a senior.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Some only see their rivals on the field, but others might have to face them again at family dinners.

As cousins, Steamboat Springs High School junior Lowen Epstein and Battle Mountain senior Mac Schmidt weren’t just fighting for their team’s victory, but for bragging rights at the next Thanksgiving meal.

The two cousins have been competing against each other since Epstein’s freshman year in lacrosse and football. But, Schmidt’s graduation will mark the end of the family rivalry, and so far, the two are tied this school year. The Battle Mountain Huskies defeated the Steamboat Sailors in football, 35-33 on Oct. 12, and on Tuesday, April 2, the Sailors evened the score for the cousins with a 13-5 victory.

“Hey buddy, how does it feel to get pounded?” Epstein said as Schmidt walked up.

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“Not my fault,” Schmidt said. “We’ll be right back. We’ll see you next time.”

Steamboat Springs High School junior Lowen Epstein, left, stands with his cousin Mac Schmidt from Battle Mountain. The two cousins have played against each other in football and lacrosse throughout high school. (Photo by Leah Vann)


In lacrosse, Epstein is a defensive midfielder while Schmidt plays back on defense. The two often meet face-to-face on the field, but in football, Epstein is a wide receiver while Schmidt plays on the defensive line. Both admit that playing football against each other is their favorite.

During their varsity careers, Battle Mountain has defeated Steamboat in football all three years. Battle Mountain has also defeated Steamboat in lacrosse in four of the last six meetings since 2016. The two wins by Steamboat include today’s 13-5 victory.

“I think it’s a good time,” Epstein said. “It’s just a cool thing to see him at Thanksgiving, and a couple months later, we’re on the field together.”

Steamboat grabbed an early 4-1 lead in the first quarter behind two goals by senior Jackson Lynch and goals from seniors Tyler Doyne and Jacob Gilbertson. The Huskies’ one goal would come from senior Tom Boyne.

Steamboat Springs High School senior Quinn Keefe fights Battle Mountain junior Jayme Belyea for a loose ball on Tuesday, April 2 at Gardner Field. (Photo by Leah Vann)

The Sailors extended that lead in the second quarter, capitalizing on penalties by the Huskies to take an 8-2 lead at half.

“It was the first game coming back from break, and it still felt like we were out on break,” Battle Mountain assistant coach William Compton said. “It didn’t seem like we showed up, so we put ourselves in a pretty big hole in the first half, and it just seemed like it was too much to crawl back out of and too big to chip away at.”

The Huskies opened up the second half with a goal by junior Thorne Hensel, but Steamboat senior Kieran Hahn punched one soon after for a 9-3 score.

The Sailors would close the third quarter by a 10-4 margin and maintain the intensity until the very end when senior John Hannaway scored a buzzer-beating goal to make it 13-5.

Lynch led the Sailors with three goals. Seniors Macray Dillingham, Matthew Kempers, Hannaway and Hahn each had two goals. Doyne and Gilbertson each finished with one goal in the contest.

Steamboat boys lacrosse
March 9: at Vail Mountain, W 11-10 (3OT)
March 13: vs. Glenwood Springs, W 12-0
March 19: at Glenwood Springs, W 14-7
March 26: vs. Summit, W 14-2
March 30: at Thompson Valley, L 10-9
April 2: vs. Battle Mountain, W 13-5
April 5: at Cheyenne Mountain, L 19-4
April 6: at Air Academy, L 14-6
April 8: at Summit, W 11-2
April 11: vs. Eagle Valley, W 13-7
April 13: vs. Evergreen, W 10-2
April 15: at Battle Mountain, W 9-4
April 17: at Aspen, W 8-6
April 18: at Eagle Valley, W 10-7
May 3: vs. Vail Mountain, W 9-2

“They played great — definitely set the tone in the first quarter and played until the last second of the game,” Sailors head coach Jay Lattimore said. “We haven’t gone against the zone defense this season, and they were just patient waiting for their shots, doing a lot of things we’ve been coaching them up to do.”

The Huskies’ goals came from seniors Baker Gentry, Tucker Morrow, Nick Walter, Boyne and junior Hensel.

Battle Mountain moves to a 2-4 overall record while Steamboat maintains a 5-1 record following its first loss on Saturday to Thompson Valley. The Sailors will travel to Cheyenne Mountain (4-2) on Friday, April 5.

As for the tiebreaker of the 2018-19 cousin rivalry, Steamboat faces Battle Mountain in Edwards on Monday, April 15.

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @lvann_sports.

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