Pedal Power

Mississippi Mustangs Mountain Bike Team

One of the hottest new sports teams on the Coast is the Mississippi Mustangs. This youth mountain bike team is a part of the newly formed Mississippi division of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a group of riders united by their passion for adrenaline-fueled rides and the thrill of conquering new challenges.

As this group of 6th through 12th graders navigate rugged terrain and push their limits, they’re not just honing their skills; they’re embracing a lifestyle of outdoor adventure and friendship that transcends boundaries of age and experience.

Director and Founder Sabrina Smith established the team to share her love of the outdoors and mountain biking. She explained, “Biking can open up a whole new realm of opportunities. You’re never too old to bike. It can inspire gratitude and appreciation and it will always be there for you.”

The Mustangs’ goals are to provide a safe and inviting atmosphere for all student-athletes. Smith stressed that they want the kids to have fun while building confidence and learning to set their own goals and conquer personal challenges.
Unlike many traditional sports, there are no benchwarmers here. All the kids get to race, no matter their speed or skill level. Participants compete against peers of the same grade and gender.

Mountain biking takes a lot of practice. There are various body positions, ways to turn or “corner” and many other skills that contribute to being successful. The team places a strong emphasis on teaching these fundamentals.

The Mustangs are guided by the values of inclusivity, equity, respect and community. The aim is not just to create proficient cyclists, but to nurture strong minds, bodies, character, and a sense of community.

There are seven riders on the team. “But we’re always recruiting,” Smith said emphatically. The Mississippi NICA League is comprised of six teams from around the state who will compete against each other throughout the spring.

Even with the team in its infancy, Smith has already witnessed many memorable moments. She recalls one rider who mastered an especially difficult skill, “The excitement on her face, the boost of confidence and self-esteem that moment gave her is something that will forever be etched in my mind.”

Team member, Emma Moody, a 10th grader, says she’s enjoyed being on the team and improving her abilities. “My favorite thing is getting through a difficult trail, which is very rewarding to know that you did something so challenging,” she said.
Jonathan Dummer, a junior high student, has been riding with his father for two years and joined the team because he wanted to race competitively. “I have really liked it,” he said. “I like racing with the team.”

The Mississippi Mustangs and the entire Mississippi NICA league aren’t just teaching kids to ride bikes, they’re shaping future leaders, instilling values and building a community. These riders are not just pedaling toward success, they’re forging a path toward a future where they are better equipped to conquer life’s challenges.

If you’re interested in joining the team, or learning more, visit


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