Motocross brings crowds

Published 9:28 am Monday, July 13, 2009

There are three things needed to create a great sport: dedicated athletes, an energetic crowd and a whole lot of noise. These three things and more were found in Proctorville on Sunday night when Wolf Creek Motocross took the stage at Lawrence County’s annual fair.

“It’s a great family sport,” said Kim Turner, owner of Wolf Creek Motocross.

The motocross has been at the Lawrence County Fair for the last 8 years and Turner said most riders love to show off their skills in front of their hometown.

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Riders take to the track on either a motorcycle or a four wheeler and race five laps around the track with six jumps and an additional six bumps.

But motocross doesn’t draw in a big crowd to see the riders take laps, Turner said.

“Everyone’s here for the crashes,” Turner said. “They’ll get you hooked.”

The crashes are what give the sport the reputation of being incredibly dangerous.

Michael Huffman, 23, has been riding for the last 10 years and has broken arms, legs, a shoulder, and wrists. Despite injuries, Huffman said he knew he was going to be a motocross rider since the first time he rode.

“I was 13 years old and I was hooked ever since,” he said.

Huffman won the pro quad money race Sunday night, a race that he has won three out of the last four years.

Perry Hoover, 22, another cash winner, said it is important to always get back up after you crash.

“You gotta’ go as fast as you can till you crash and then you back off just a hair, and then when you crash you get back up again,” he said. “You can’t quit.”

Perseverance is a must in motocross no matter what age or skill level you ride. The youngest rider Sunday, four-year-old Betty Hayes, had trouble getting over the hills in what was her very first race. But with a little help from her dad, she finished the race amid applause from the excited crowd.

“Ever since she’s been in her mommy’s belly she’s been on the motorcycle,” her dad said. “She’s doing pretty good.”

One of Hayes’ older brothers was injured Sunday with a broken wrist. The only other injury of the night was a broken collarbone, the most common injury to the sport. Chances are, these injuries will not stop the riders from returning next year.

“I think it’s the adrenaline that keeps them coming,” Turner said.