By Guillermo Amezquita
Who would have ever thought a kid from Southern California like me, would ever be at a rodeo? I am a kid who likes to go to the beach that wears board shorts and sneakers and listens to rap music. The closest thing to a rodeo before coming to Missouri Valley College I’ve ever been to is Rodeo Drive near Beverly Hills, California. My very first rodeo was here at Missouri Valley College. I knew nothing about the sport. The only reason why I showed up in the first place was because of a class assignment for Viking Views. To me, it was a real culture shock because I never really grew up around farm animals or horses for that matter. It was not until the beginning of the Fall semester of my senior year I got to become really good friends with some rodeo kids. My very first rodeo friends were Coleman Rude, Travis Smith, and Cole Picton. We hit it off from day one.
I’m not going to lie, I did a really bad thing by stereotyping people in rodeo. My idea of rodeo kid was someone who wore a cowboy hat, boots, and listened to country music and smelled like horse doo-doo. But that’s not who these kids really are. For the most part these kids are just like me. They like the same things I do, they like to listen rap, drink beer, and do fun and spontanious things.
As the year went on I got to meet and really got to know more rodeo kids. It was probably weird to the rodeo team to have some baseball player from California hanging out at the rodeos dorms during the National Finals Rodeo, pretty much the World Series of rodeo. This is where I started to become more interested in the sport of rodeo. I probably even bothered them with some stupid questions I had about some of the events.
During the spring semester of 2016 was when I started to remember names of everybody on the team. As we hung out more and more, I felt a real bond of friendship between me and the team. I even learned how to throw a rope and catch something from one of my friends, Randi Beck.
When I was invited to go to Martin, Tennessee for a college rodeo I got an inside look of how these kids really live their life in a rodeo arena. I took the journey with them that took a good 6 hours to get there. I was the for all three nights and I must say I truly respect what these young men and women do for a sport. Not one event I say is any easier than the other. Being able to root for people I actually know made the connection of going to a watch a rodeo that much better.
My time spent with these people has been a great. Every single person on the team has been nothing but great to me. There are no words to really explain how much these people mean to me. I am excited to take the memories with me back home to the west and talk about how cool the rodeo kids really were. I promise to never forget any of them. I have never been around such amazing people in my life. I’m glad to not only call these people my friends but my family. From the bottom of my heart I love every single one of these people.