Samantha McCrorey of Hagerman inks with Northwest College

By: Alex Valentine (view original article)

The long, winding webs of connections that athletics build for players and coaches alike often weave across state boundaries and roll down from one generation to the next. In small, tight-knit communities like Hagerman, that often proves even truer.

Those sturdy basketball connections came to fruition on Monday, as Hagerman standout Samantha McCrorey signed to play at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.
McCrorey follows in the footsteps of Hagerman’s varsity volleyball coach, Katie Knight, who played basketball at Northwest College from 2003—2005.

But the branches of the basketball tree don’t stop there.

Knight’s sister-in-law, Larissa Knight, graduated from Hagerman in 2014. After one year at Western Wyoming Community College, she played a year at Northwest before moving on to Southern Virginia.

Northwest’s head women’s basketball coach, Janis Beal, just finished her eighth season at the Trappers’ helm. She finished her two years playing at Northwest the year before Knight arrived in 2003, but her record-breaking performances at the college stayed around until long after Knight finished her tenure.

McCrorey, who also excelled in volleyball and track, and recently broke the school record for discus throw at 118’ 2.5”, visited the campus and scrimmaged with the team over Hagerman’s spring break. She took some time to think it over, but Knight says that may just been a case of letting the reality sink in.

“She met with the team and the coach and loved the atmosphere. I think it’s just something that she never realized she could do. She never realized that she could play and have school paid for because of it,” said Knight.

Knight and McCrorey’s relationship goes far beyond a simple coach-player bond too.

During her freshman year of high school, McCrorey’s home life presented some difficulties, so she would spend her Thursday nights eating dinner with Knight’s family. Her sophomore year, she moved in with Knight’s parents-in-law, right next door to Knight.

Walk, bike, bird and ride: Group plans miles of trails to connect Hagerman Valley

By: Tetona Dunlap (view original article)

It all started with an idea to build a bike path connecting Hagerman to Billingsley Creek.

And what was a short stretch has now grown to miles of trails.

Hagerman Mayor Noel C. Weir approached Craig Laughlin last year to head the initial bike path project. He’s the president of the Hagerman Bike and Walk Committee, which is overseeing the proposed trail system that will link businesses, state and national parks and other destinations in the Hagerman Valley.

On Friday, members of the Hagerman Bike and Walk Committee will team up with 12 landscape architects and 12 local experts during a workshop called the Hagerman Valley Pathways Community Design Charrette. They will design the trails, create a unique identity for the trail system and promote the different types of use such as walking, biking, birding and horseback riding.

A community open house will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Hagerman School Gymnasium. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the pathway design the teams will come up with during the two-day workshop.

Laughlin estimated the completed project will cost between $7 to $8 million and will include 35 miles of new trails. The workshop was made possible through a grant from the National Park Service that was awarded in October.

The group’s plan is to finish the first leg of the project — from city park to Billinglsey Creek State Park — by next year.

“It’s just getting off the ground,” Laughlin said. “It will take four or five years before you see it all tied together.”

Charrettes, or design workshops, have been used in other Idaho community projects including the Barber Pool Conservation Area Interpretive Trail, Caldwell’s Indian Creek Daylighting Project and the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.

“We are trying to boost tourism, plus we are trying to give local people something to do,” Laughlin said. “There is kind of threefold thing — tourism, safety and health for the citizens.”

Suzanne Jensen, the group’s secretary/treasurer, has lived in the Hagerman Valley for 30 years working as a real estate agent. An avid walker, she said the only sidewalks are along State Street or U.S. 30, which cuts through town. Jensen recalled more than once when she and her walking partner had to jump up on the curb to avoid getting hit by a vehicle.

“This is beautiful valley and so much what we have in the natural setting isn’t readily available for visitors,” Jensen said. “I think it’s a really sound plan. We are excited about it. There is pretty good momentum.”

They workshop attendees will also design trail signage, discuss how to make State Street look and function more like a Main Street and and how to transform Hagerman into a hub town for bicycling.

“They call it a branding,” Jensen said. “A representation of community ideals and that tell who Hagerman is.”

David Landrum, Thousand Springs State Park manager, is a member of the Hagerman Bike and Walk Committee.

“We get a lot of different visitors at all our park units and a lot of visitors have bikes with them,” Landrum said. “We are hoping the visitors that we get off the freeway will take these trails. It will benefit everybody and showcase what Hagerman has for people to see.”

Last year committee members took a tour of the project’s proposed sites. Jensen said there were spots in the Hagerman Valley she didn’t even know existed. Landscape architects and regional experts will also take the same tour before the weekend charrette begins.

“I’m hoping when people come to Hagerman they will stay a little longer if we have a nice bike path and walking path,” Jensen said. “A lot of times people will come and use the river, but I’m hoping they will take the opportunity to explore. Even local residents don’t realize a lot of the natural beauty that is out there.”