Youngsters in the fifth- and sixth-grades are encouraged to join the town’s Jr. NBA Youth Basketball League. The deadline to register for the program is Tuesday, Nov. 30 and the cost is $30 per child. Each participant will take home a Payson reversible jersey. Those who register after the deadline for their age group will be placed on teams only if space permits.
Games will be played at the Rim Country Middle School gym from Dec. 11 through Jan. 22. Call the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, for more information or stop by the office at Green Valley Park.
Women’s & Men’s Volleyball
Competitive and recreation divisions will be offered, with a four-team minimum for both divisions. Team entry includes league play and an end-of-season, double-elimination tournament.
Registration closes Dec. 1 and the cost is $200 per team, with games played Dec. 6 through Jan. 28 at the Rim Country Middle School gym. Participants must be at least 16.
Call the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, for more information or stop by the office at Green Valley Park.
The next Payson Area Trails System hike will be on the Cypress and Boulders Loop Trail
This beautiful route features fantastic views of the Granite Dells. The hike starts at the east end of Phoenix Street, at the Cypress Trail access and goes around the Boulders Loop Trail before returning to Phoenix Street. The five-mile trek is moderate in difficulty.
There is no charge.
Meet at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 4.
Young cyclist needs help
Cypress Gorry, 16, knows that times are tough financially for almost everyone in our country. But he continues to hold out hope that there might be people willing to help him attain his lifetime dream of becoming a member of the USA Junior National Cyclo-cross bicycle racing team.
To have a legitimate chance at making the star-studded squad, Gorry must travel next month to Belgium where he will participate in a junior (under-23) camp designed to acclimate the riders to the deep talent pools of western Europe in preparation for the upcoming world championships.
But making the trip is a huge expense. The support fees alone will surpass $4,000.
Although Gorry has saved some money on his own, he is looking for sponsors to help him shoulder the financial burden.
The teen, a Payson High School honor student and an active member of several school organizations including the Renaissance Club, says he’ll be extremely grateful for any support he gets and promises to be a fine representative for both the school and community.
Those who know Gorry say he has all the makings of a fine-tuned athlete and is courteous to others, respectful, able to handle any contest’s outcome in a classy manner and a teen who would serve as a role model for his peers.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Gorry may call him at (928) 474-5670.
Cyclo-cross a challenge
Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing that typically takes place in the autumn and winter.
The international World Cup season is September to January.
Most races consist of many laps of a short (1.5 to 2 mile) course featuring grass, trails, steep hills, pavement and other obstacles that require the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike before remounting.
The emphasis in the sport is on the rider’s aerobic endurance and bike-handling skills.
It is in the demanding running portion of cyclo-cross that Gorry might be among the best.
At least that’s the opinion of his father, Wayne Gorry, a longtime local schoolteacher and Payson’s guru of all types of cycling.
“In all Cypress’ races he’s been fast off the bike and ran past the other competitors,” Wayne Gorry said. “Plus, he’s really upped his commitment to train hard.”
Cyclo-cross is strongest in the traditional road racing countries such as Belgium — hence the training camp is being held there where World Cup cyclists can compete against and train with the best.
Also in Belgium, the courses are more challenging and the junior field of cyclists much deeper.
The past several years, Gorry has shined in the Stanley Cup races in Portland, Ore. and at the National Championships in Bend, Ore.
While it is cyclo-cross racing that now spikes Gorry’s interest, only last summer he competed against the country’s finest mountain bikers in the USA Cycling National Championships at Granby Ranch, Colo.
There he competed on the rugged Sol Vista Bike Park course, which featured a 19-mile course with a 4,000-foot climb.
Entered in the Category 1 (expert) 15-16 years division, Gorry was fourth.
Last year, Gorry — along with a friend — completed a stint at the Rocky Mountain Regional Olympic Training Camp where he emerged as one of the best young riders in the under-23 years age division.
In 2008, Gorry capped the seven-race Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) season by winning age/experience division championships at the Flagstaff Finale.
Gorry took honors in the beginner men, 15-16 years age division, even though he was a 14-year-old who only a week earlier graduated from middle school. At the onset of the MBAA season, he decided to move up an age division in search of better competition.
Gorry went on his first bike ride with his father when he was only three days old.