Throughout the fall Moab has hosted athletes from all over the state for a wide range of sports, including ladies tennis, soccer and volleyball, men’s golf, football, co-ed cross-country, co-ed swimming and co-ed mountain biking. (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out.) We raise an active crop of youth here in Moab, and that Red Devil Pride is evident in every participant, including a lone high school rodeo athlete who is blazing a trail to what will hopefully become a full-fledged team some day.
These endeavors get played out on courts, fields, wooden floors and pools, not all of which are created and maintained by the school district. Of particular note is the trail system created by Moab’s citizen-fired group of cyclists and hikers called Trail Mix. That organization has been active for well over a decade, operating under the mission, “to preserve and develop the individual trails and pathways that will grow into an integrated network and thereby help to provide safe, convenient and enjoyable recreation and transportation for all trail users throughout Grand County.”
Trail Mix’s work on the Bar M trail network north of town played host to about 450 riders competing in the state high school mountain biking championships last weekend. Those athletes were able to enjoy the fruits of labor offered by locals who have described themselves on their web page as a “ragtag bunch of volunteers who meet once a month,” and who encourage people to “get out there and enjoy the trails.” Creating something for all kinds of users is a wonderful way to display Moab pride and hospitality.
The Grand High co-ed mountain biking club, grinding away in its first year as a co-ed team, placed second among all of Utah’s high schools and had a number of personal standouts. The group was able to compile points as a team this year because it had a co-ed team. The winner’s podium at that event should have made a space for a Trail Mix member.
Grand’s swim club is headed to Cedar City this weekend for an invitational tournament, and owes a good portion of its success to being able to train year-round in the city-owned pool. The golf and cross-country teams likewise train and compete on courses that are not entirely of the school district’s creation or management.
All of this goes to show that Moab is a great place to recreate, both on public lands and in publicly funded facilities, and that these opportunities are made greater due to a lot of help. We all know that.
I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has made these opportunities possible – volunteers, coaches and families included. Congratulations to all the athletes who have trained and competed five days a week since the first of August. I’m proud of you all. Go Big Red!