By Kay Braddock
For 12-year-old Torrey Watts of Miles City the summer season signifies more than just a break from school. Like most youth his age he enjoys baseball, football and wrestling.
But the 200-plus trophies housed in the family garage indicate where his real love lies – motocross racing.
Traveling between Montana and the Dakotas, Watts has been competing in dirt bike racing events since he was 6-years-old. He first began riding at three.
“One day I counted (the trophies),” Watts shared. “There were about 215.”
That’s not including the 50 in his bedroom.
For the Watts’ family, following the MonDak Racing Association’s circuit is a family affair. Both brothers, 13-year-old Trevor Watts and 8-year-old Jacksen Watts, race while 6-year-old sister Jenna Watts has opted to abstain from the activity. Their father Blayne Watts explains that Jenna has deemed the activity a “boys’ sport.”
But regardless of little sister’s classification, Blayne says when it comes time to race, the entire family packs up dirt bikes and safety gear to take part in area racing events.
As a member of the Prairie County Motorcycle Association, Blayne says he wants to keep that same family-themed focus at the annual Arenacross in Prairie County.
“I’m almost afraid of it getting too big too fast,” Blayne said, explaining why the group doesn’t post the event on the Internet. “It’s more family based.”
Riding an 85cc 2-stroke dirt bike, Torrey is looking forward to racing again this year at the arenacross. Last year he came away with two first place finishes and one third.
When considering the dangerousness of the sport, Blayne agrees accidents can happen, but says he and wife Becky ensure the kids have the safety gear they need.
“If you’re going to compete at any type of level in any sport, injuries can occur,” Blayne said, pointing out bicycles and ramps in the driveway can prove to be just as dangerous..
Published July 28, 2010