Get to Know...Mark Ferry
Aug 02, 2010 08:04AM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print
Photo by Dante Fontana
“Pay it forward. That’s all I’m trying to do,” says Mark Ferry, coach of the Oak Ridge High School Mountain Biking Club.
“I love mountain biking and when I saw a chance to do something I was passionate about and help out kids at the same time, I decided to do it.”
Ferry’s love of biking began when he was a teenager, after too many speeding tickets led to him losing his driver’s license. “I was 18 and still had to get to school and my job…so I was really turned on to biking then. That was probably the beginning of my real passion,” he says.
In 2009, after learning that Oak Ridge High School did not have a mountain biking team, and Folsom High did, Ferry took on the challenge of starting one. “Jason McMillon, the coach at Folsom, is a wonderful guy and he let our team train with the Folsom High team,” says Ferry. “That really helped us to learn about coaching and how the program works. When my coaches got the hang of it, we broke off and did our own thing. We also raised $10,000 in local sponsorships, which is more than anybody thought possible.”
Unlike most high school sports where you need to have already played for several years to possibly make the team, mountain biking is perfect for all skill levels because there are plenty of coaches and leaders, according to Ferry. “It gives the kids something to do and helps keep them out of trouble. I get emails from the parents about how great it’s been for their kids...and that’s extremely rewarding,” he says. And, to top it off, in their first year of being a team, they placed fourth in the state out of 34 Division-II teams.
Ferry encourages any high school kids to participate on his Trojans club team, regardless of where they live. “...as long as you’re committed to showing up and participating, we’ll even help to supply a bike,” he says. For more information, check out trojanmtbracing.com.
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