Age, size can't hold fearless rider back 02/05/07 By Craig Clary ArenacrossJoey Tebo III is not afraid to hit running backs on the football field or lay out attackmen on the lacrosse field, but the 5-foot-2, 105-pound Catonsville resident could be excused if he was somewhat intimidated at his first sanctioned Arenacross race Jan. 14.Joey, 12, was entered in the beginners amateur division for ages 12 and up of the Toyota AMA Arenacross race, held at the First Mariner Arena.Little did the seventh-grader know he would be the youngest rider by five years. The other riders were between 17 and 24.Although Bettina Tebo said that her son has "never had any fear since the day he was born," his nerves were tested during a morning practice run when he mistakenly found himself warming up with the intermediate and expert riders."He had a hellacious crash," said his dad, Joe Tebo Jr. "He was T-boned by another rider, and he said, 'That's it.'""I thought I was going to get bowled over," Joey said.He also thought his race day might be over before it began."We were going to make up a lie (to not continue), but my dad convinced me to just do it," he recalled.He did it all right, adroitly advancing from the first heat through the semifinals and into the finals, where he finished 11th out of 15 riders.He was riding a new Honda CFR150R bike, which he got a week earlier and had only tested once.His dad sold his own motorcycle so his son could get a bigger bike than the Honda XR100cc, which wasn't even large enough to qualify him for the race.Handling the new bike was the least of Joey's worries when he revved up for the first heat."I was wondering if I could get off the starting line good -- then I was worried because there was a guy next to me that was probably like 6 feet," he said.
|Jan 14 2007
||AMA Arena Cross