Motocross racing is a sport that involves the support of family, and without that support and encouragement, Jimmy DeCotis would not be where he is today.
DeCotis, a cousin of Keene State College student Amanda Stalbird, cannot remember the last time he was not on a dirt bike.
At a young age, DeCotis fell in love with the excitement and competitive streak of motocross racing.
DeCotis was born on September 3, 1990, and is from Peabody, Mass.
DeCotis’s mother, Diane DeCotis, said, “I remember the day when my husband and I brought home Jimmy’s first dirt bike. It was a Christmas present, and though he was only three years old at the time, he jumped right on it and insisted that his father teach him how to ride it right then and there.”
She added, “Ever since then, motocross has been a major part of our family, and because of that, I feel as though it has brought us closer together over the years.”
DeCotis became a professional motocross racer three years ago.
He is a part of the GEICO racing crew, and though he is not yet a well-known name in the professional field, other racers know him very well and look up to him.
Steven Caddick of Ashaway, RI, has also been racing since he was a young child.
Caddick and DeCotis became friends over the years by racing together and share the love of the sport.
Caddick stated, “DeCotis and I were always very competitive towards one another. Over time, I accepted the fact that he was better than I was and allowed myself to get to know him as a friend rather than a competitor. We realized that we were very similar and both just loved the thrill and excitement of racing. Our families became really close as well, and ever since then we have been very good friends. I am very proud of his accomplishments in the sport, and always watch and cheer for him when I watch the races on television. I see a bright future for him and hope that one day I will see him on commercials.”
Stalbird, a junior, is a big fan of his. Since she was younger, she and her family always attended DeCotis’s races every Sunday.
Stalbird stated, “I always looked forward for racing season to start because it was so exciting to see my cousin in his atmosphere. I always told my aunt Diane that racing for him came naturally. I remember the day he was signed to GIECO racing; our whole family came together and had a huge celebration for him.”
“Everyone in our family is happy and proud of him. We support one another in everything we set out to do, which is why I believe our family is so close. Whenever Jimmy and I talk, he always asks me how school is going and truly does care about my success at KSC,” Stalbird added.
Stalbird said that even though DeCotis is a professional at what he does, he never allows that to get in the way of where he came from and how he got to be where he is today.
Teresa Stalbird, mother of Amanda and aunt of DeCotis stated, “We are always worried about Jimmy while he rides because it is easy for him to get hurt. I am always by my sister’s side when we are watching him because she needs someone’s hand to squeeze while he goes over a jump.”
This past season, DeCotis suffered an injury that restricted him from racing.
During practice, he fell and tore his ACL, an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament that can be a serious injury to the knee.
DeCotis stated, “I was really bummed when I tore my ACL, but I knew that it was something that could heal, and I’d be back on the track soon enough.”
He added, “My family and friends and fellow racing crew members of GEICO were all very supportive and insisted that I took it easy and focused on getting better. Although motocross is my life, I have to admit, it was nice having a little break from it and being able to watch my fellow racers compete.”
The life of a professional motocross racer is a life of constant practice and commitment.
Like anything in life, if people work hard and take the good with the bad, they will accomplish anything they set out to do.
DeCotis said, “I know I’m not the best in the sport, but luckily I have the drive to do well as well as the unbelievable support and encouragement from my friends and family. “
DeCotis added, “I love this sport and I know that if I continue to work hard, one day you will see me on television holding up that first place trophy.”
Monique Troiano can be contacted at