Story by Ruth Nicolaus The Mid States East Rodeo Association member lived in Texas for five years before moving back to her parents’ farm in […]
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Meet the Member Tucker Alberts
story by Rayne Sherman
Seventeen year old Tucker Alberts of Howell, Mich., has just started his senior year of high school and is a member of the Michigan High School Rodeo Association (MiHSRA), the Mid States Rodeo Association (MSRA), and the USTRC.
Tucker’s grandfather, Rocky, and uncle, Ryan, started team roping before he was born and once he was old enough, Rocky taught him how to rope. Tucker won his first buckle at age three in the dummy roping at the Michigan Youth Timed Events Championship (MYTEC). The MYTEC is held once a year and allows youth of all ages to compete in various timed events like tie-down roping, team roping, chute dogging or breakaway roping based on their age bracket. Tucker has competed at the event every year since he was three and was the reserve champion in 2015. When he was 12, Tucker joined the National Little Britches Rodeo Association of Michigan and competed in team roping, breakaway roping and ribbon roping. Three years ago, Tucker joined the MiHSRA and competes in team roping, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. He was the 2016 Steer Wrestling Champion and the All Around Champion. Tucker just began competing in steer wrestling last year, but has been practicing with Jim and Charlie Griffin for several years. “Griffins have helped me a lot and gave me a good start in steer wrestling. They haul me to rodeos and coach me. All the steer wrestlers have helped me, including Chad Taylor, Bump Postlethwait and Brandon Kennedy. Team ropers Stuart Pletcher, Travis Robertson, Mike Shegan, Jim Gregg, Dusty Link and Tina Popour have helped me too. I am glad I have so many people in my life who want to help make me better at what I want to do and I can’t stress enough how important these people are,” stated Tucker. This year is the first time Tucker has qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) and did so in all three of his events. Things didn’t go as well as he’d hoped in the tie-down roping and team roping, but he made it to the short go in steer wrestling and finished in 14th place. Tucker also competes in Super Kicker rodeos and has one the average at their finals for three years in a row with Jon Zorn, who was the only person who would enter with Tucker when he first started rodeoing. He is also a member of the Michigan Roper’s Association and has won three saddles.
Throughout the 2016 season, Tucker has been firmly entrenched in the top 12 in both team roping and steer wrestling in the MSRA standings. After returning from the NHSFR, Tucker has been a strong competitor and is currently ranked 7th in steer wrestling and 11th in the heeling heading into the Mid States Finals Rodeo (MSFR) September 30 and October 1. Tucker has the opportunity to earn rookie titles in both of his events at the conclusion of the MSFR.
Tucker has also been a member of the USTRC since 2013 and is currently a #5 header and #5 heeler. In 2014, he won the #10 Incentive at the Ohio Classic, but did not compete at the USTRC Finals. He feels heeling is easier, but heading is his favorite because he enjoys the technical part of breaking down a run and looking at how to get faster. Earlier this year he spent time in Texas with fellow team roper Stephen Stiteler and competed at a few ropings with him. These visits also led to one of the best opportunities Tucker has had. Stephen is friends with Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association steer wrestler K.C. Jones and after Tucker mentioned wanting to meet K.C., Stephen introduced the two. “We went to K.C.’s house where I got to see his NFR horses run and chute dog with him. He helped me a lot on the steer saver and taught me things I’d never heard of,” said Tucker.
Outside of rodeo, Tucker trains rope horses and roofs houses. His family has an arena at their house and hosts team ropings and sortings. Tucker’s future plans aren’t firm yet, but he is hoping to move to Texas after graduation. He would like to live near K.C. Jones and work with him more to continue improving as a steer wrestler in hopes of qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo someday. If those plans don’t work out, Tucker would be happy working on a ranch in Texas and training horses for the rest of his life.
In addition to his grandfather Rocky, Tucker lives with his grandmother Rosanne, mother Angella and twin sister Bailey. “I really couldn’t do this without my family. They have helped me out a ton and have sacrificed a lot for me to be able to rodeo,” stated Tucker.