Motocross Racer Headed To Regional Championship
By Tamas Mondovics
While the other kids chase the soccer ball around or show off their talent on the basketball court, 10-year-old Apollo Beach Elementary School student Darby Harrison, turns spectator’s heads as he rides his almost 100-lb. Yamaha PW50 dirt bike. Encouraged and fully supported by his parents Jim and Karen Harrison, the young athlete has no problem staying on track, both athletically and academically.   “I have maintained straight A’s since kindergarten, and continue to strive academically. School is very important to me and always comes first,” Darby said. Darby has been riding his bike for the past three years and entered his first race in January of 2008. Darby’s role models include names like Ricky Carmichael, Tim Ferry, James Stewart and Kenny Yoho. Unlike basketball, motocross makes parents experience a higher level of concern for the safety of their children, something that Jim and Karen are fully aware of.  “I have to tell you that sometimes Darby riding his bike makes me very nervous,” Jim said. “But, I also know that he has had the best training, and wears the best safety gear made. He loves what he does, he is good at it and I couldn’t be happier for him.” One thing that drives Darby to success is what all sports and athletic events rightly share.  “What I like the most about motocross is the competition,” he said. Claiming the start of each race as his favorite part of the sport, Darby has no doubt that motocross is the sport he wants to peruse.  “I get butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of the gate dropping,” he said. “The rest is all on me to do what I have trained to do.” As it is true with most young athletes, Darby stays focused by setting both short- and long-term goals, including the Loretta Lynn Regional championship in Washington, GA, and advancing to the Amateur National Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN and to race against the top 40 riders in the nation. As far as his long-term goals are concerned, Darby held true to his unwavering commitment when he said, “My ultimate goal is to go pro, and race in both the Supercross and Motocross series.”  Interestingly, what he said last is likely the most important key in accomplishing his dream of becoming a professional rider.   “I have a lot to learn and a long time until that happens. Like I said, we set a lot of short-term goals,” he said.Darby trains twice a week in Plant City at the Leslie Varn Ranch with a trainer from Kenny Yoho from Kenny Yoho MX Schools.For more information about the Amateur National Championship, visit To learn about Kenny Yoho MX Schools, visit

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