Starting this July, Dawson County will have its first mountain biking team.
According to Mountain Biking Coach Mark Legaspi, Dawson County students in 6th through 12th grades can now sign up to race in the Georgia Interscholastic Cycling League. Before, they would need to be a part of a team in Forsyth County, which consisted of 35 coaches and 55 student-athletes. But now, under Legaspi’s coaching, the Tigers will race under their own name.
Legaspi and his daughter Ava have been racing with the Forsyth team, led by Dolores Montero and her husband Eddy. The team has students all over the Forsyth County area and have created a culture of mountain biking without any prior experience.
“It’s not a drop and weave sport,” Montero said. “You have to practice and you have to learn, but it won’t take long. Just a few practices and you will be a competent mountain biker.”
Legaspi has been racing competitively since 2009 and said he is excited to coach his own team for the first time, after being a coach with the Forsyth County team last season.
“We find that it’s the sense of family and the enjoyment of completing a course that keeps kids coming back and wanting to race more,” he said. “Then their parents watch and say ‘Hey, I wonder if I could do that.’ Sooner than later, it’s become a family affair.”
The mountain biking team practices three times a week and athletes are encouraged to attend at least two of those practices. There’s no tryout for the team either, riders of all skill levels are welcomed to join.
“Traditional high school sports, you don’t see student-athletes continue that sport for the rest of their life,” Montero said. “They can do this competitively for the rest of their lives if they want to. Our essential goal is to create lifelong cyclists.”
Legaspi wants to encourage all different age groups to come to the information meeting on May 9, whether intimidated or not.
“Once you get out there, you see how fulfilling it can be,” Legaspi said. “It’s something I hope that my family continues together for the rest of our lives.”
Anyone interested in the Dawson County Mountain Biking Team can find more information by going to focomtb.org or visiting them on Facebook at Forsyth County MTB Team.