Academy hosts Rocky Mtn. State Games events

  • Published
  • By Ruth Moon
  • Special to the Academy Spirit
Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Scott Mende drove five hours with his team for the Rocky Mountain State Games, partly because the field at the Academy is so well kept.

"I'm the keeper, so sometimes I have to get used to playing in some torn up goal boxes. But that hasn't been a problem here," Scott said. "They have good facilities, so we don't have to worry about getting into a field full of potholes and muddy fields."

Good facilities seemed to be the order of the day at Sunday's games, as youth and adult soccer teams competed all morning and cyclists looped around the Academy on the Falcon Trail.

The Rocky Mountain State Games is a great pre-season meet for area high school soccer teams, said Dwayne Freeman, coach of the Corinthians U16 team.

"There's not a whole lot of pressure," he said. "Just come out and play some soccer."
Sixteen high school-aged soccer teams signed up to compete in the 2010 Rocky Mountain State Games at the Air Force Academy, said Sports Corp spokesman Mike Moran. Teams were competing bright and early Sunday morning, playing against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and a bright blue sky.

Across the Academy, 60 cyclists lined up to start their ride along the Falcon Trail. Matthew Benassi rode and marked the trail for the racers and has set up other trail rides around Colorado Springs.

It took him and another person 20 hours to design and mark a trail at Palmer Park, he said. Falcon Trail only took about five hours to mark last weekend because it was so well-marked and laid out already, he said.

"The trail's actually in really good shape," Mr. Benassi said.

Other cyclists agreed. Tom Vinson, a cyclist who rides the trail often, was helping register cyclists.

"It is one of the most fun trails I've ever been on," he said. "I did most of my mountain biking in New England, so coming here, there's a section of about a mile and a half that's New England-ish, the rest of it's Colorado. But it's really nice -- it's all ride-able."

The state games is an annual event in its 32nd year that groups 36 sports events into several meets over the weekend throughout Colorado Springs, at venues like the Air Force Academy, Olympic Training Center and Colorado College. People of all ages and athletic abilities can compete.