Garyville teen kicking up dirt

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 21, 2005


Sports Editor

GARYVILLE-Most of his dozens upon dozens of trophies are taller than he is. There are so many that his parents can’t even fit any more in his room to go with the plaques that line the walls.

Brandon Champagne owns them all. And he’s earned them.

At only 13 years of age, Champagne has found his calling. Forget wanting to be an astronaut or a fireman-he wants to be a professional motorcross rider. He’s already well on his way.

A 6th grade student currently attending St. Joan of Arc, Brandon is the son of Garyville residents Paula and Henry Champagne, who also serve as Brandon’s pit crew and management.

Brandon said he’s been riding 4-wheelers in the sand pits behind the levee in Garyville for as long as he can remember, but got his official start in racing at the tender age of eight when he got his first racing bike. Five years later, there’s little else that seems to hold his attention.

&#8220We get compliments on him all the time,” said his mother. &#8220They say he’s a natural. We figure if we just keep him involved, this could take him somewhere.”

And take him somewhere it has. Competitions have brought him to or through all of our neighboring states. He’s been in races in Milton, Florida, Monster Mountain, Alabama and Houston, Texas. He’s met notable motorcross racers Nick Izzy, Matt LeMoine and Taylor Johnson at the Loretta Lynn track in Tennessee.

Last week he raced just down the road in Darroy at the Rivers Edge competition where he took home first place overall and three plaques for various other recognitions. This morning the family was set to head out at 3 a.m. to go to a race at Three Palms in Texas.

Sponsored as of recently by Michelin and AMS oil, (See MOTORCROSS, page 16A)

they are looking forward to the Spring when Brandon has the opportunity to qualify to return to the race at Loretta Lynn. With last year’s first place showing in the tri-state championship at LSU, he said that he’s looking forward to getting experience because he hopes to go pro when he’s eligible after turning 16. But for now he’s still got one foot in childhood. He said that he enjoys skateboarding, football and playing video games, specifically MX vs. ATV, an off-road racing game. But his passion is out on the dirt and muddy tracks. No sooner than he finished showing off his trophies, Brandon had disappeared out in front of the family house. He was spotted just a few minutes later hopping on to a 4-wheeler while a neighbor climbed in to a golf cart to tag along.

&#8220Oh, we can barely get him off of it,” said his mother. &#8220He lives for it.”