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Nicholas boys excel on motocross track
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By Leigh Ann Rutledge, Associate Editor
Motocross is a family sport in the Nicholas household.
The “SixNixMX” team finished their first full season in October 2019. Rett, 7, and Reed, 5, sons of Scott and Keri Nicholas of Carrollton, race in the Ohio Motocross Association District 10 circuit.
The boy’s younger brother, Rein, is also showing interest in participating. Their uncle, Kevin Ott, has been riding motocross circuits for several years. In previous years, Kevin used 57 as his number. Today, he uses number 457.
Keri said, “It’s a family affair. We have fun and cook out.”
Rett was the Overall 50 cc Jr. OMA Champion, Overall 50cc Jr. Faircross Champion and Overall 50cc Jr. TrueMX Night Series Champion. He placed second in the 50cc Open Faircross and fifth in the 50cc Open TrueMX Night Series.
Reed was the Overall 50cc Shaft Drive Faircross Champion. He placed fifth in the 50cc Shaft Drive OMA Overall, 50cc Shaft Drive TrueMX Night Series and 50CC Shaft Drive Battle for Ohio Series.
How did Rett realize he liked to ride? Scott brought a Honda 50 “pit bike” home for Rett to ride at his parent’s home. He thought it would be something fun for him. Rett began riding and “wanting to go fast” saying he wanted to race at a track.
His first race with the Honda 50 was in June 2018 at Malvern MX Motocross Track. He signed up for a four-lap race. He participated for about three-fourths of a lap, Keri noted. It was only a partial lap, but Rett was hooked. The family traveled to local races through the remainder of the season.
The 2019 season began in January with indoor races at Summit County Fairgrounds during January and February. Rett chose 5 as his number and moved up to two bigger bikes, a KTM 50 Mini and KTM 50SX. He competed in the 5-6-year age group. The family traveled to 42 races all over Ohio, to Amhurst, Briarcliff, Western Reserve and more.
The last race of the season was at Malvern. Scott pulled Rett aside and explained the situation with the race. Even though it was a lot to put on him, Scott wanted him to understand if he won the race, he would be the champion. Before he went to on the track, Scott told him to do his best. “I know Daddy. You always tell me that,” Rett replied.
During the race, Rett battled with a boy from Minerva in what was probably his best race of the season.
“When he came off the track, he was shaking,” Keri said. “He took his helmet off and looked at his dad and said, ‘I did it Daddy.’ We were all in tears.”
Keri said the moment was bittersweet. She was overjoyed for Rett, but sad for the other boy.
Motocross is like a family, Keri noted.
“We’ve grown to know everyone,” she explained. “When your child crashes other parents help. If we needed a part, the little boy from Minerva (family) would be the first one to offer a spare.”
Rett began the 2020 season at the indoor races at Summit County Fairgrounds where he placed second, third and fifth in the 50cc Open and 50cc Senior. He is also moving up to the 7-8 age group.
Reed ran a full season in 2019 at four years old. (He turned five Christmas Eve.) He raced a Yamaha PW 50, which is a smaller shaft bike that doesn’t run as fast as other bikes. A shaft bike is what most younger riders begin with.
A preschooler at Carrollton Elementary, he was the youngest rider on the Summit Co. track last winter. For being so young, his parents think he did very good for his first season. He will be in kindergarten this fall.
Rein, who is four, has a PW shaft bike. He wears his brother’s old helmets and boots around all the time. He took his bike for a spin, but “rode it into the ground”, according to Keri. He has chosen 4 as his number. “It’s funny. The boys chose 5 and 7 which was Kevin’s first motocross number,” said Keri. “Rein wants to be #4. With 4, 5 and 7, you have his current number 457.”
Riding in motocross requires special gear for safety. When asked if there are any issues with the boys wearing helmets, boots and chest protectors, Keri stated, “The boys know they have to wear the gear because they are not riding regular bikes. Plus they can put all the gear on themselves.”
She also tells how most mornings (prior to COVID-19), it was hard to get them up for school, but no problem for them to wake up at 4 a.m. to go to a race.
Fortunately, when either boy has crashed, he has gotten back on. Rett wrecked in a race in early 2019 and received a buckle fractured right wrist which required a cast. He continued racing because, as he told his mom, “I can still work the throttle (located on the left).” He also played on a t-ball team with the cast.
With the coronavirus outbreak, the boys are trying to practice when they can. A friend who lives nearby, built a motocross track and they practiced there. Malvern Motocross is still preparing for the season opening race March 29.
“My children have played a lot of sports and I am by no way downing any of them, but I feel motocross is like no other,” Keri stated. “Motocross often gets a bad rap, but they are the nicest people. They are like family. It’s a nice way to spend the weekend. I really enjoy when the entire family gets to be together.”
The Nicholas’ boys have a sister, Rylee Mercer, an 8th grade student. They are the grandchildren of Dwayne and Jacque Nicholas, Sharon Ott and John (Connie Marshall) Ott, all of Carrollton.