Scott Hoppe’s Story
From time to time, we receive emails from generous people asking if we would accept their donated trophies. As a non-profit, you can imagine how grateful we are to get these messages. Like most BMX tracks, trophies do become our biggest expense over the course of a season.
Some emails we receive are pretty clear; a parent needs to make more room in their garage because their kid no longer races or their kid has grown out of the sport. This past August, we received the email below from a local family:
“Wondering if you might be interested in some old BMX trophies, I have about 50 of various sizes (several larger trophies) that my son Scott won during his BMX riding days. He’s gone now so I’m looking to donate them if you are able to use them. I can bring them by the track if you want them….just feels wrong to throw them in the trash.”
Something was different about this email. What does ‘gone’ mean? Gone off to college? Grew up and moved out? Gone, not with us anymore?
Unfortunately, it was the later. This email came from Mr. & Mrs. Hoppe of Mechanicsville. They are the parents of the late Scott Hoppe, who tragically left us after an automobile accident on July 26, 2001. Scott was an inspiring BMX racer and called Southern Maryland’s former BMX track, ‘Budds Creek’ his home track.
Scott’s parents have shared some stories about their son that we would like to share with everyone. Scott learned how to ride his bike with the help of his sister, Brianne. They recall the days of his first tricycle, first set of training wheels and of course his first BMX race bike. “Like most riders today, he could not wait to hit the track where he was able to hang out with friends and have fun at the same time. His racing career started on his DK 20″ in 1995 when he was 11. Scott wasn’t the biggest or the strongest racer on the track so every ounce of bike weight and well-tuned parts helped to even the field. He spent many hours poring over BMX magazines, catalogs (Dan’s Competition), and searching BMX web sites for the latest in bike technology and custom parts. I’m certain not a day passed that Scott was not riding or thinking about riding. He was hooked and now a student of the sport.”
In 1998, Scott moved up to the Intermediate racing class. He was 14 and the competition was bigger and stronger. He and his best BMX riding buddy, Matt Suite, competed in many races and traveled with their mom’s (Lois and Kathy) to tracks up and down the east coast. The year culminated with Maryland State Championship Qualifier 1st place and East Coast Gold Cup Championship Main Event Qualifying wins which lead to a trip to the East Coast National race and to the Grand National races. The year ended with a trip to Oklahoma City for Scott and Dad to attend the Grand National races. Although Scott did not qualify to race the trip was a valuable learning experience.
1999 was Scott’s best season for racing, the year ended with enough racing points to move into the expert class. It was Scott’s best year for BMX racing. He also raced at the Grand Nationals in Tulsa OK along with his friends Tony Fisher and Jeremy Lasica. Even though the boys did not place or show the week-long road trip and the two day event was a huge learning experience with thousands of racers, an unbelievable track, and hundreds of BMX bicycle parts vendors with literally everything a BMX rider could ever want. Everyone had a great time and stories to bring back to their home town tracks.
The 2000 season year was another good racing year for Scott. He managed to win several expert class races including the East Coast National Qualifier and a 4th place East Coast National in Burlington, NC. 2000 was also Scott’s last year for BMX racing, as his interest in other high school and college level sports like soccer and lacrosse and spending more time with friends occupied more of his time. However, I like to think that if Scott were here now he would say that BMX riding was always his favorite sport, he loved the mechanics of his bicycles, being on the road and the track with his friends, and traveling to different towns and cities with mom and dad.”
Mr. & Mrs. Hoppe also want to share their thanks to the kind folks, friends, and the moms and dads that participated in recognizing Scott and dedicating a special Budds Creek BMX trophy in 2001 in his name. “Our Scotty Boy will be loved and missed forever.”
Holding onto trophies or awards is something we all do. It brings us back in time. It brings back memories of a race or other special time where our kids were recognized for doing good things. Cherish every moment together and every race. Always give it 100% and never lose sight of just how fun this sport is.