May 1, 2014 Updated: May 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm
Two colleges which laid the groundwork for men's lacrosse in the West will take some time to recognize history and determine their immediate future.
Colorado College, celebrating its 50th season this weekend, hosts Whittier College (Calif.) on Friday in the annual Locker-Stabler Cup game with NCAA Division III tournament berths on the line.
A win by the Tigers (9-5) would, in all likelihood, clinch an at-large bid while a loss would leave CC in good shape thanks to solid strength of schedule with only two opponents below .500 records. Whittier (7-3) also has a chance to clinch a tournament berth with a victory.
"I would feel a lot more comfortable if we win," said CC coach Sean Woods, a member of the NCAA selection committee.
Woods and others will take some time to honor their predecessors when the school hosts a private dinner for the expected 50-75 alumni before the game at Washburn Field.
Two members of the original CC team - Tad Davis and Kenneth Mellen - are scheduled to attend Friday, along with former goalkeeper and longtime coach Tom Kay, who played under program founder and former biology professor Robert "Doc" Stabler. Past players from each decade are anticipated among the crowd of 125 with most expected to attend the game later.
"Doc Stabler is the reason we are all here," Woods said. "We will stay focused on the game. The best gift we can give our alumni is winning Friday night."
The Locker-Stabler Cup is also named for longtime Whittier Poets coach Doug Locker. Both Division III schools were among the first west of the Mississippi to start lacrosse programs.
"We take a lot of pride that CC helped grow the sport in the West," Tigers athletic director Ken Ralph said.
The men's and women's NCAA berths will be announced at 9 p.m. Sunday. Both CC teams - the women finished 13-6 - have a good chance at making the tournament and perhaps hosting a first-round contest Wednesday.