It's Derby time for Scouts

January 20, 2001

It's Derby time for Scouts

By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - Each of the small wooden cars was as unique as the boy who created it from a brick-sized block of wood.

Some were elaborately detailed, down to the tiny fenders over each wheel. Other designs were simpler, but still functional.

Dozens of youths competed Saturday at Cub Scout Pack 17's annual Pinewood Derby.

Ross Semler, 9, modeled his car after "Herbie the Love Bug" - white with parallel blue and red stripes on top.

Brandon Stride, 6, was going for a cross between a Monster Truck and a go-cart because he likes watching both race professionally.

Craig Cannon, 8, wanted his to look like Jeff Gordon's orange and blue NASCAR.

Billy Yesko, 9, named his the "Boweser Bomb," after a character in his made-up fantasy game patterned after Pokmon. His green and yellow car had a white "horn" on the hood.


"So far, it's brung me luck," said Billy, who won two of his first three races.

Scout leaders set up the sloping three-lane wooden track at Williamsport United Methodist Church.

The boys raced their cars two at a time, drawing lane assignments to keep everything fair and square.

Every boy got to race at least two times. Those who won kept racing until they were eliminated.

Although "Herbie" always won his races, Ross wasn't so lucky with his miniature version.

"I raced two times and lost two times," he said. "I had a pretty good time racing."

Ross' father, Richard Semler, explained to him that "Herbie" always won because he was on television.

"They can do anything they want in television, can't they?" he said.

Semler said the event stresses good sportsmanship. There aren't supposed to be any sore losers or gloating winners.

For the most part, the boys took their defeats and wins with grace.

Billy cringed when, in his fourth race, he lost.

But a short time later, he was taking pictures of all his friends and their cars with the camera he had just won for being one of the county's top popcorn sellers.

Preparation for the race also gives parents and children an opportunity to spend time together working on the project.

"You learn to work together as a team," Semler said.

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