Trey Griffith’s hands are a blur as they stack a dozen cups into pyramids.If you blink, you might miss him collapsing the pyramids back into three simple stacks. He’s focusing hard, concentrating, but he’s not really watching his hands. His eyes are on the clock.He wants to set a new personal record, going for seven seconds in the cycle, a series of complex stacks. Trey is a numbers guy. He loves to go fast.“It’s my favorite thing to do,” Trey said. “I like cup stacking because it’s really cool.”At recent cup-stacking tournaments for Keller ISD and for Birdville ISD, the Woodland Springs third-grader took home first place medals in all the events for his age group. Now he’s getting ready to compete in a tournament on April 27 in Las Vegas sponsored by the World Sport Stacking Association, with a chance to earn a spot on the Junior Olympics team.Trey began cup stacking almost two years ago, after watching his older sister Jenna, now an eighth grader at Trinity Springs Middle School, participate in a cup-stacking club. He learned the sport by watching You Tube videos.Trey has found a place to shine. The 9-year-old has high-functioning autism, spending most of his time in a regular third-grade class taught by Karen Lorenz, but studying English-Language Arts with Becca Goodwin, who specializes in teaching autistic students.Mom Carmen Griffith said, “Kids with autism usually have an area they focus on. Trey’s is numbers. He really likes the timer.”When he first started cup stacking, he focused on tricks because that’s what he saw in videos. He would stack cups while standing on a skateboard or ask his mom to blindfold him. But after his first tournament, he was hooked on going fast.Carmen Griffith has to limit the time Trey spends practicing his sport to an hour and a half on school days. Sometimes on the weekends or during breaks, he will spend three or four hours working on his moves.“He will get frustrated,” she said. “He makes personal goals and won’t stop until he gets it.”Trey excels at many events in sport stacking. The 3-3-3 event is making three pyramids of three cups each. In the 3-6-3 event, the three pyramids have three cups in one, six in the middle and three on the end. The cycle is a series of 3-6-3, followed by two 6-cup pyramids, then a ten-cup pyramid with one cup on either side. All the events end in three collapsed stacks.Trey is looking forward to his big trip to Las Vegas.He hopes to meet sport stacker William Polly, who became the world record holder in the 3-6-3 and cycle events last year at the ripe old age of 11.He might meet a previous world record holder,William Orrell, or Steven Purugganan, who had his own McDonald’s commercial.When he’s not stacking, Trey enjoys playing video games and listening to classic rock and roll. His favorite song?“ Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin,” he said as he completed another pyramid of red cups.
Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231 Twitter: @SandraEngelland