Getting down and dirty

Sixth annual Mud Splash volleyball tournament set for Saturday

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It's been six years since the inception of the Mud Splash volleyball tournament put on by the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

For many, the event is something different and fun to participate in.

"It's not something you do every day," said Nikki Kopsa, captain of the Cook Chevrolet team.

It is Kopsa's sixth year in tournament, and this year she is expecting to have just as much fun as the previous five.

"It's fun to go and hang out with your friends," Kopsa said.

The tournament, which raises money for the Chamber, has recently shifted focus on where the funds from this year's festivities will go. In the past, it has gone to the Moffat County Visitors Center, but this year, it is diving off on a different angle.

Christina Currie, executive director of the Chamber, said that during the past two years, the Chamber has made city beautification a priority.

"It was a two-pronged goal," Currie said. "They started off with the legislative angle -- what kinds of laws are in effect to make Craig more appealing and how are they being enforced. The second prong is an actual beautification project."

The project has estimated costs of $5,000. The tournament, Currie said, should raise between $1,000 and $1,500 to go toward the project.

"Get dirty to clean up Craig," Currie said.

For those brave enough to participate, expect to get caked with mud, because Mud Splash will do exactly that.

"Heck, it's the one time a year that you get to get dirty and play volleyball," said Cody Draper, a member of Kopsa's Cook Chevrolet team.

Currie said the skill level of the players doesn't matter because after you hit the court, you never know whether you'll have a solid chunk of ground or a giant sinkhole. There are 12 teams signed up for participation, and Currie is also expecting a few stragglers.

"Most of the teams playing have been playing in the tournament since the beginning," Currie said. "There's an ongoing loyalty to the Chamber."

This year's teams include JABT, Holiday Inn, the Daily Press Mudslingers, Stockmen's Liquor, Disjointed Java Junkies, Green Mud Machine, Mathers' Mud Slides, Morning News Spikers, Udder Mudders, KRAI Mud Dawgs and The Memorial Hospital.

Along with repeat players, there are the more comical moments that have come to pass annually.

"Last year, some players tried to duct tape their feet," Kopsa said. "It didn't help much though."

The park also will have music, and the Independent Life Center will be serving hot dogs and soda.

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues throughout the day at Loudy-Simpson Park.

For information, call the Chamber at 824-5689.

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