Meet the Member Cole Steib
story by Siri Stevens Cole Steib’s first year in the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo was successful. The sixth grader made it to Nationals in the […]
story by Michele Toberer
Thirteen-year-old Will Harris, from Dubach, Louisiana has just started his first year in the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo Association, but he believes he has started down the road to his future. The 8th grade, Cedar Creek School student, has found a passion for calf roping and chute dogging, that came about somewhat out of the blue. Will’s family had purchased a couple horses two years ago, so he had learned some basics of being horseback, while riding around the farm and trail riding, but rodeo was not necessarily on his mind at that point. Will had a friend that rode bulls, and after Will observed a few rodeos, he was drawn to the tie-down roping event, to the point that he began roping a dummy at home. Luckily, his grandfather, Joe Pierson, had team roped long before Will was born, so he helped him get started on how to swing his rope. Will is the youngest child in his family, with his sister Anna and step-sister Kennedy, both being 17, and his step-brother Caleb, 19. None of them have shared his desire to compete in rodeos, but that didn’t keep Will’s parents from taking him seriously when he asked for roping lessons and a calf horse.
Will began taking lessons from a local roping instructor, Codie Poe. “Codie really helps me a lot, I go almost every week to work with him.” Besides, learning how to rope, what Will found, was that he needed a horse with training and experience to make the step into competing at rodeos. A nearby neighbor, Tom Carney, who is well-known in the rodeo world as a steer wrestler, introduced Will to the horse he purchased in February, and now competes on. “Jose is a 12 year old, bay Quarter Horse, that could just about be a pro horse. He helps me out a lot. He’s been to a ton of rodeos, he tracks good, stops good, and works the rope good.” Besides helping Will find his perfect calf horse, Tom also coaches him on throwing steers so that he can compete in chute dogging. Will feels lucky to live just 20 minutes from Tom, and is grateful he can spend a lot of time there. He has enjoyed getting to practice with some of the pros that Tom works with, like Tyler Waguespack and Casey Martin.
Will’s dad, Brian Harris, is a doctor, specializing in family medicine, and his mom Alicia, is a pharmacist. Will appreciates the time he spends with his dad, as he hauls him to practices and rodeos all over Louisiana. His family has lived in Louisiana for generations, so he has lots of family surrounding him. Will enjoys spending time with them, fishing, hunting, and watching Louisiana State University football games. His favorite season is duck hunting season, but he does also love to fish on nearby lakes and ponds. Additionally, playing football for his school has filled Will’s time this year, as he has played linebacker, tackle, and punter. Will finds science and math to be his most interesting classes at school, but has not yet determined what he would like to do for a profession down the road. He hopes that his roping and steer wrestling will continue to go well, so that he can tie-down rope and steer wrestle in high school, followed by rodeo in college, and eventually become a pro rodeo competitor. “If I was going to pick a career besides rodeo, I’d probably like to be a doctor like my dad.”
Louisiana Junior High Rodeo is a big part of the goals Will has for the year. He has enjoyed being a member of the Louisiana Junior High association so far, and is looking forward to the rest of the season. He would love to qualify for the National Finals in all his events; tie-down roping, ribbon roping and chute dogging. “My ribbon roping partner, Avery Landry, is pretty quick, she’s a good partner.” Will enjoys the LJHSRA, “because they are well-organized, their rodeos run quickly, and it’s a competitive group of contestants.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.