New Castle News


July 11, 2012

Riding High: Laurel student among top quad drivers in state

NEW CASTLE — It was every kid’s dream.

A garage full of Power Wheels, the motorized miniature cars that almost every child pleads with his parents to buy.

Joshua Altman had them all.

“When he was in diapers, I literally had all the Power Wheels you could get — every model,” his father Robert Pitzer, said.

It’s more than a decade later, but Altman hasn’t stopped riding. Although, nowadays his four-wheelers are a bit faster and more advanced than the battery-charged cars he rode around as a kid.

The 14-year-old Laurel High student is one of the top-ranked quad riders in the state, and he just started racing a little over a year ago. Altman, who uses his mother’s last name, has won nearly 30 times in the past two years and is coming off a season in the Competition Riders of America in which he finished first in the Junior Woodsman division, which consists of kids ages 15 to 17, making Altman the youngest of the group.

No problem. The young-but-talented freshman rides like veteran.

“I like tough courses,” Altman said. “It’s not just who has the fastest bike, it’s the rider with the most skill.”

Altman has plenty of it, and it’s not hard to see why. He got his first motorcycle, a 50cc Suzuki, at age 3. He rode it around the yard and, like most kids’ first experience on a bike, crashed and hit a tree or two.

“I remember that,” he said with a laugh.

He got back up and kept riding, and if you ask Pitzer, he hasn’t stopped since.

“We put him on the bike when he was so young, that it’s like an extension of his body,” he said. “It’s natural to him.”

So is winning, apparently.

Altman, who also plays football and baseball at Laurel, won 20 out of 30 races last year, by far the most in his division. He finished first in his division, beating out the second-place finisher by 251 points. Points are earned depending on a rider’s finish and how many people are in a race. First place garners the most points — as few as 10 and a maximum of 25 per race.

Altman, who was forced to move up a division after placing first last year, again was leading his classification this season — winning eight out of 15 races after moving up to the Woodsman Division because he finished first last year — before breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist in early June. Even though he’s missed 11 races since the injury and again is the youngest of the bunch, he’s still second out of 96 people. He’s still recovering from the broken scaphoid bone but hopes to be back to defend his title at the Big Game track in Hubbard, Ohio. The race is one of the biggest on the schedule and consists of three different events: flat track, hare-scramble and motocross. Altman won all three last year and took home the grand prize — a 6-foot trophy. He’s motivated to defend that title.

“Most of the pros will be there,” said Altman when talking about the excitement of the race. “But for me, it’s the 6-foot trophy. And this race brings out your abilities with the different types of riding.”

Lucky for Altman, he’s good at all of them.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Laurel vacancies filled

    Vacancies within the Laurel School District are being filled prior to the start of school next month.

    July 18, 2014

  • Laurel to have multi-class reunion

    A multi-class reunion celebrating the 25-year anniversary for Laurel’s classes of 1987 through 1991 is set for Sept. 13.

    July 14, 2014

  • Laurel board approves budget

    The Laurel School Board has adopted a $17.8 million budget for the 2014-15 school year. The $17,849,586 spending plan requires no tax increase. It represents a $361,496 increase over the current year’s budget.

    June 19, 2014 1 Story

  • Laurel names secondary principal

    The Laurel School Board hired Mark Frengel as secondary principal of student affairs. Frengel will receive a salary of $88,000 for the 2014-15 school year.

    June 19, 2014

  • Laurel class of ’74 planning reunion

    The 40-year anniversary reunion for Laurel’s Class of 1974 has been set for July 19.

    June 18, 2014

  • Laurel budget proposal has no tax increase

    The Laurel School Board has introduced a $17.8 million budget that requires no tax increase. The $17,849,586 spending plan for the 2014-15 school year is $361,496 higher than the current year’s.

    May 15, 2014

  • Laurel Class of ’74 to hold reunion

    Members of Laurel High School’s Class of 1974 will celebrate their 40th anniversary this summer.

    April 11, 2014

  • Laurel OKs positions

    The Laurel School Board approved the employment of three instructors for additional duties this week.

    April 9, 2014

  • Cooper.tiff Laurel hires Cooper as new football coach

    Laurel High has found its man. Brian Cooper replaces Pat Cuba at the helm of the Spartans football program. Cuba resigned last month after leading the Spartans to a 7-3 record and the program’s first playoff appearance since 2009.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Forbes appointed to Laurel board

    Blaine Forbes has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Laurel School Board. Forbes, who previously served on the board, was approved Monday by a unanimous vote of the eight board members.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results