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The Carthage Press
  • Neutral Skate Competition gathers local skaters

  • This past Saturday Griggs Park saw the first annual Neutral Skate Competition, a competition and concert hosted by four Carthage High School students.
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  • This past Saturday Griggs Park saw the first annual Neutral Skate Competition, a competition and concert hosted by four Carthage High School students.
    At the beginning of May, brothers, Jeremy Giroux, 17, and Jason Giroux, 14, wanted to hold a competition of some sort for fellow skaters, and to build awareness to the community about what skaters do in the Carthage area.
    Shortly after the brothers’ friends, Aaron Davis, 18, and Travis Johnson, 17, joined the effort and presented to the Carthage City Council a plan to be able to hold the Neutral Skate Competition at Griggs Park on June 1.
    The city council approved the motion, and the plans to hold the competition were under way.
    “I really saw this as a way to give back to the community, and to be able to support our local musicians,” said Giroux.
    The event began at 1 p.m. all skaters were judged by a panel of judges that decided who would receive various prizes, such as new skateboards, and gift certificates to skate shops. One of the participants in the intermediate class was CHS student Trevar Sutherlen, 16, who has been skating for the past seven years.
    “Skating has a way of clearing my mind, that nothing else can,” said Sutherlen.
    The main reason Sutherlen came to the event was not to win, but to be with his friends.
    After the skate competition a concert was held, prizes were awarded and supplied by Mulligan Skateboards, and the Carthage Nazarene Church. Categories of intermediate, and beginning skaters were awarded. Local Joplin heavy metal band, Coventry Sacrifice performed. The band plays across southwest Missouri.
    The coordinators all agree that the skate park will bring good things to the Carthage area and hope to raise awareness for the skater community. “Skaters are good people, and I am trying to raise awareness that skaters aren’t who you think, and genuinely good people,” said Kenny Bevis, 21, of Carthage.
    Plans for the second annual Neutral Skate Competition are already underway.
    “We are ready to just get more people out here next year and have fun,” said Giroux.
    The event was made possible by Mulligan Skateboards, Carthage Nazarene, and the Carthage City Council.

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