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Demolition derby back in Shepherd

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Posted at 9:42 AM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 11:42:27-04

Spectators enjoyed a little friendly competition out in Shepherd that involved trying to disable the opponent's car.

After missing out in 2020, the annual Shepherd Lions Club Demolition Derby fundraiser came back on Saturday.

Seven drivers started the day.

"Just outside good event," said Matt Bettis, Shepherd Lions Club president. "You know people want to work hard and have some reward to go out there and compete. Just like anything, we all compete in different ways. And these folks compete by banging cars up against each other."

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KTVQ photo

"Most of the time it's pretty wild," said Skylar Powell, a demolition derby driver from Havre. "I've heard of people going up to 45 (mph) out there. Usually around 25, 35 probably. Yeah, usually your adrenaline's pumping so bad, you know, you don't even feel it."

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KTVQ photo

A lot goes into the demolition derby before and during the competition, and for the drivers and for the Lions Club, the event is about family and friends.

"If it wasn't for family, it would never work out," Powell said. "Friends and families. That's the best part about derbies. Make a hard hit so you look out in the stands and everybody's standing up for you. That's what it's all about."

"Just having some spectators out here and having some good family fun away from the couch and away from the phone," Bettis said. "Games for the kids to play. We're going to throw a little tennis ball so really try to make it a family event."

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"I've got kind of a system planned out," Powell said. "You kind of sit back for a little bit, see what's going to happen and then everything's going a million miles an hour. Then you just kind of start going in with the flow, you know. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Powell said it's more fun than other sports he has played.

"I don't want to do anything else in the world if I had a choice," he said. "Honestly, yeah. I'd never give it up. Like against football and wrestling, I take more pride into this I guess. It's more like a family tradition type thing. So, means a lot, especially when your grandparents and everybody comes. Oh yeah. it's a big family thing for us."

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Bettis said the Shepherd Lions Club raises about $4,000 from the derby.

The club uses the money to contribute to charitable organizations.