Some people excel in different areas of life, whether it is school or work or other aspects. Very few of us excel in two different realms of life, especially at the age of 16!

That’s where Ouje-Bougoumou’s Katejun Coonishish comes in. He has exceeded expectations at two very difficult sports, snowmobile and motocross racing.

He has moved up the ranks so quickly in snowmobile racing that he now races against, and regularly defeats men twice his age with many more years of experience on the circuit. Despite this, he has remained humble, not letting his success get to his head.

At his age, he has nowhere to go but up. He already has a sponsorship deal signed with Bombardier. Along with their loyalty comes two new snowmobiles or ‘sleds’ as those in the know calls them. He is also part of the prestigious Blair Morgan Racing Team, one of the most renowned teams on both the snocross and motocross circuits. They supply him with other equipment needed to win races.

He has had a great deal of success on the motocross circuit as well, having pretty much won in all the different categories. Financial constraints however, have forced him to concentrate more on snocross racing.

According to his father, Sydney, he cleaned up in his first year of racing. At 12, he was entered into the 10-12 year old category. He finished first, by far.

In his second year, he was doing so well the organizers permitted him to enter into an adult class called the ‘Sport class’. At the age of 13, Coonishish won that championship as well.

Last year, keeping with his lightning quick escalation in this fast, frozen sport, he was entered into the semi-pro category. His father was elated when he “totally dominated” and again won the championship. At that point in his career, companies like Bombardier began to take notice.

The same year, before he raced semi-pro, he had a chance to showcase his phenomenal talent at a race at Dolbeau-Mistissini, which was being televised by the sports channel RDS. This would prove to be his baptism by fire into the world of semi pro racing. Because he was a racer from the sport class, one of the rules was he had to start from the back of the pack, all by himself. The result was almost predictable, another victory for this impressive young man.

Later on that year, the Blair Morgan Racing Team approached him to be part of their team. He was invited to Duluth, Minnesota to make an appearance there before signing with Blair Morgan. After they saw his performance and his limitless potential, they agreed to sign him to a one-year contract in what was essentially an equipment sponsorship.

This year is his first year in the pro class, and amidst much anticipation, he has not disappointed the fans. His first race in Chibougamau saw many people from his hometown of Ouje-Bougoumou come out to cheer on this local sports hero. “He was the talk of the racing world in not only the north, but the south as well,” according to his father. “He was about to run away with the win, but he incurred mechanical problems (his chain broke) and didn’t finish the race.”

His day finally came when he raced and won at La Dore a week later. This momentous occasion marked his first pro win.

At this point in his first year as a pro, he has already posted three wins and a few second place finishes which is good enough for him to be in second place overall.

“He takes his success as it comes and it never makes his head get bigger,” quipped his proud papa.

Be sure to check future issues of the Nation for an update on Katejun’s career.