Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Sam Carson
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Sam Carson does a sport he doesn’t enjoy because he knows it makes him better.
The Utah High School Rodeo Association member, a resident of Lindon, Utah, loves steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping. But he participates in wrestling in the off season, to stay in shape.
He’s a big boy, standing 6’4” and weighing in at 220 lbs., which puts him in the heavyweight class when it comes to wrestling competition, and sometimes matches him up against wrestlers who are thirty, forty or even fifty pounds heavier than him.
“Honestly,” he said, “I do not like wrestling. The reason I do it is to stay in shape for rodeo.” There are some definite benefits to the sport, he believes. “One thing about wrestling that I feel I can’t get anywhere else is it teaches you to be mentally tough. It makes you have self-control and to keep going when things get hard. Because wrestling is hard, especially when you’re tired. It’s an intense sport.”
The eighteen-year-old cowboy comes from a long line of bulldoggers in the family. His horse is a sixteen hand sorrel named Cougar who was a former heading horse but got sour in the box. Sam switched him to bulldogging and he took to it naturally. “He’s been one of the best horses I’ve ever had.” In the tie-down roping, he rides a fifteen-year-old sorrel named Bud, and when he heels, he rides another sorrel named Ariel.
Sam is a senior at Pleasant Grove High School, where the best part of the day is diesel class. It’s a college credit class, where students work on semi-trucks and heavy equipment.
His hobby is collecting and restoring old trucks. He has two 1970 C10 Chevies, one which is two wheel drive and the other is four wheel drive. He likes to drive them around. He also likes to trap coons with his hound dogs. The family lives near Utah Lake, in an area that has a lot of open water and wetlands.
He’s rodeoed since he was young, but last year, when he practiced with Hayden and Caleb Andersen, he thinks his steer wrestling improved. The Andersens, who are twins and juniors in high school, live in Wasatch and came to Sam’s house to improve their bulldogging. The three practiced together, and Sam’s skills got better as well. “Now we’re pretty good competition,” he said. “They win some, I win some, and we still stay friends. One thing I like about the steer wrestling is everyone’s friends. It’s a close community. We cheer for each other, we push each other’s steers.”
Sam is currently number one in the state high school standings, and has competed at state finals three times, always in the bulldogging. Last year, he finished fifth and won Silver State, which is one of his favorite rodeos. “It’s a blast. Everyone’s not so serious, and there are a lot of fun activities they plan for us.” His favorite rodeos are the Dixie Six, in November in St. George.
After high school, Sam will spend two years on his LDS mission, then hopes to compete in college rodeo. He’s had rodeo scholarship offers from several places.
He has five older siblings: Benjamin, Marcia, Aimee, John, and Hannah, and is the son of Todd and Melissa Carson.