The 79th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Races is in the history books and the bikers have gone home ... but for one area family the rally is just one week in a lifetime of motorcycling ... our Brendan Mackey has more ...
RIDING A DIRT BIKE AS FAR AND AS FAST AS YOU CAN UP A ROCKY STEEP MUDDY HILL SOUNDS CRAZY RIGHT? WELL NOT TO THE FINN FAMILY EVERY YEAR AT THE STURGIS RALLY RIDERS DO THEIR BEST TO MAKE IT UP THE JACKPINE GYPSIES COURSE ON THEIR BIKES.... AN EVENT THE FINN'S HAVE COMPETED IN FOR YEARS..... AROUND TOWN THEY'RE KNOWN AS THE FLYING FINNS. CLINT "YEAH WE GET ASSOCIATED WITH THE HILL CLIMB ALL THE TIME. OH YOU GUYS ARE THE FLYING FINNS THE HILL CLIMBING GUYS." THE EVENT ONLY TAKES PLACE ONCE A YEAR AND NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO PRACTICE HERE FOR THE OTHER 364 DAYS.
TROY "YEAH WHEN THE RALLY STARTS TO FIRE UP YOU GET A LITTLE NERVOUS BECAUSE ITS ONLY ONCE A YEAR YOU DONT WANT TO MESS IT UP." IF YOU DO BAD YOU HAVE TO WAIT A WHOLE YEAR TO DO GOOD AGAIN AND SO ITS JUST KINDA NERVE RACKING FOR ME I GET IN MY OWN HEAD. BUT WHEN ITS GO TIME TROY SHOWS UP... IN FACT HE HAS HAS BEEN KING OF THE HILL NUMEROUS TIMES.
TROY "THIS IS KINDA MY THING. I HAVE BEEN RIDING FOR 22 YEARS." "I DON'T KNOW I GUESS IM KINDA A ADRENALINE JUNKY I CANT GET AWAY FROM IT." AND IT CLEARLY RUNS IN THE FAMILY..... THIS YEAR TROY'S NEPHEW ETHAN MADE IT ALL THE WAY UP FOR THE FIRST TIME. ETHAN "YES FINALLY I FINALLY GOT UP HERE. ITS LIKE YOU WORK SO HARD THAT NOW YOU CAN BE UP THERE." STRAND-UP
"THERE REALLY ISNT ANYTHING QUITE LIKE THE HILL CLIMB. AND AFTER TALKING TO THE COMPETITORS. IT GOT ME THINKING I SHOULD GIVE IT A TRY.... UMM MAYBE NEXT YEAR.. THE HILL CLIMB IS OBVIOUSLY A DANGEROUS SPORT AND THESE ATHLETES REALLY NEED TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING BEFORE THEY TAKE ON THE HILL." ETHAN "WELL ITS KINDA LIKE NERVE RACKING WHEN YOU GET UP TO IT BECAUSE LIKE IF YOU DONT KNOW HOW TO DO IT THEN YOURE KINDA JUST WINGING IT AND ANYTHING CAN GO REALLY." TROY "WELL I HAVE GOTTEN A COUPLE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES, BUT I GUESS WHEN I WAS 14 I BROKE BOTH MY ARMS AT THE SAME TIME." THE FLYINS FINNS CERTAINLY LIVE UP TO THEIR NAME....IF THERE IS ANYTHING GUARANTEED AT ANY HILL CLIMB....ITS THAT YOU WILL SEE A FINN FLYING TO THE TOP. CLINT "ITS SOMETHING WE ARE I GUESS BORN WITH. YOU KNOW WE ALL STARTED AT A YOUNG AGE YOU KNOW 3 TO 5 YEARS OLD AND ITS A PASSION." IN STURGIS IM BRENDAN MACKEY. YES ETHAN OVER THE TOP.
In some high school basketball news, Rapid City Stevens assistant girls coach Travis Swartz has been recommended to replace Michael Brooks as the Raiders' head coach pending Rapid City school board approval. Brooks resigned at the end of last season after three seasons at the helm.
Stevens had a strong run under Brooks compiling a 53-19 record, including a 19-win season in 2018. Last season the Raiders went 17-7 and knocked off Sioux Falls Washington and Sioux Falls O'Gorman to win the Class AA state consolation championship after falling to Harrisburg in the opening round. Stevens returns one of the state's top players this season in University of South Dakota commit Kyah Watson.
Rapid City Rush forward Alex Rauter has re-signed with the Rush for the upcoming ECHL season. Rauter spent last season with three ECHL teams. The 6-foot-1 inch, 185-pound forward began the year with the Wheeling Nailers was traded to the Manchester Monarchs and then came to the Rush at the trade deadline in exchange for defenseman Josh Elmes. Rauter's rookie season was a strong one as he finished the year with 16 goals and 30 assists in 65 games. Prior to turning pro, Rauter played college hockey at Cornell. The Rush open the season on the road at Allen on October 11th, their first home game will be October 25th against the Utah Grizzlies.