By Christian Ashlar
Focus, determination, optimism and vision are qualities many adults aspire to possess. Twelve-year old Morgan Scherfel has these qualities in abundance and is putting them to good use. Bored with riding the same streets of Martin every day, Morgan and three other friends decided to do something about it. Along with Chris Presepio, Aiden Long and Memphis Riggs, Scherfel rode their bikes to city hall in Martin and asked to speak to Mayor Randy Brundige. There, they told him their solution to the boredom they experienced — a skate park.
Such a park would be an enclosed area with different kinds of ramps, half-pipes, wall-rides, jumps and foam pits for practicing air tricks. For Scherfel and his friends, this would be the stuff of dreams. It would also be a place for other bike riders and skateboard enthusiasts. It would also be open to anyone wanting to come and observe to be able to do so.
Scherfel first approached his father with the idea of a skate park. When told he would need to speak to the mayor, a determined Scherfel said, “I’m going to do that, tomorrow.” He did just this, convincing his friends this was a mission worth undertaking. According to Presepio, in another interview, the other three boys had no idea where they were going until they arrived at Martin City Hall. Once there, they were in full support of Scherfel and went into the mayor’s office with a plan.
As a BMX enthusiast, Scherfel is familiar with obstacles, like the ones standing between himself and the skate park. He cited having to get a petition signed, which would begin the overall process. When asked about a hypothetical number of 100 required signatures, Scherfel responded, “We could probably get that done in a day.”
The answer came, not as youthful optimism, but as a factual statement from someone who saw an obstacle and devised a way around it. When asked if he was nervous meeting and talking with the mayor, Scherfel said, “No, it was something that I wanted.”
What the four bike enthusiasts are facing are the same things anyone with an idea to build a structure would be facing. One key component to the park is its location. In order for the park to be viable as a place for young people to go, it would need to be a central location with easy accessibility.
Its attendants would need to be able to ride their bikes or skateboards to the park in order to enjoy its features. Once this location is determined, the next obstacle would be funding the purchase of land and construction of the park. This is where the parents would play an integral part of the process, as they could network in ways their children could not.
Exact plans for what this park would look like and what it would offer are not definite. All four of the youngsters involved have their own ideas of what the park’s aesthetic would be. They have all agreed there should be the usual fare but also key safety features like helmets and protective gear. These items, a must for parks of this nature, would need to be acquired, as well.
Talk of sponsorship has come up, from time to time, with social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter being named. Scherfel has even talked about setting up a YouTube channel where he will feature videos of himself doing bike tricks.
Scherfel was asked if he was ever scared when doing any of his tricks. In a confident tone, he answered, “You just have to commit.” This was both the perfect answer to the question and advice for anyone faced with the quandary of wanting to achieve a goal.
Some of the other parents have gotten together and begun the process of support for their children. They hope to get the community behind the idea of a skate park and it seems to be working. The Martin Parks and Recreation have put #ProjectGearsandGrinding on the January docket.
Scherfel would like to be a professional BMX rider one day. He also wants to make custom bikes that are well-made with lasting power and durable tires. As someone with no shortage of focus, determination, optimism and vision, Scherfel seems to be the sort who could do anything he sets his mind to. Whether his vision of a Martin Skate Park will come to pass is still up for city debate.
Editor’s note: Christian Ashlar is a news reporter for The Press. He may be contacted by email at email@example.com.