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 […]
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Meet the Members: Wilder Thompson, Cole Jenson, & Sadie Waller
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Wilder Thompson competes in the reining cow horse, cutting, and the tie-down roping in the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
Of his three events, the seventeen year old cowboy considers the reining cow horse his best event, in part because of his good horse, and in part because “that’s what my dad knows the most about, and that’s what we spend the most time doing.”
A senior at South Summit High School, he loves his animal science class. The best part of being a senior is that he has a free class period during the school day. Students at South Summit have up to ten classes, five one day, and the other five classes the next day.
He plays football, is the reporter for his school’s FFA chapter, and is on the honor roll.
For fun, Wilder loves to hunt mule deer and elk along Mirror Lake Highway in the Uinta Mountains. The family turns their deer into ground deer meat, deer steak, and jerky, and the elk into elk steaks and ground elk. He enjoys catching cutthroat, tiger and rainbow trout, and occasionally they will keep their fish and have a fish fry for the whole family, “a big old party.” He also likes to compete in pulling contests all over Utah with his team of draft horses.
Wilder’s favorite food is his mom’s Navajo tacos. His favorite snack is a Snickers bar and a Dr. Pepper, and his favorite artist is Tim McGraw. He really likes McGraw’s song “My Best Friend.” His favorite TV show is “Last Man Standing.”
He has competed at state finals the last three years, finishing each year in the top fifteen in all three of his events.
After high school graduation, he will go on a two year mission, then most likely attend Utah State University and get his doctor of veterinary medicine degree. He’d like to compete in college rodeo.
Wilder has an older sister, Shayle, who is twenty, a younger brother, Caleby, age eleven, and a younger sister, Ellie, who is seven.
He is the son of Sheldon and Jody Thompson.
Cole Jenson is a hard working guy.
The seventeen year old cowboy, a resident of Millville, Utah, works 25 to 30 hours a week, in addition to attending school and rodeoing as a member of the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
As soon as school is out, he hurries to his job, riding colts for horse trainer Shane Haviland, where he works for several hours before going home.
In rodeo, Cole competes as a steer wrestler, team roper (heading for his sister, Kirby), and in the reining cow horse. He likes steer wrestling the best.
His earnings go into savings, where they will help pay for his church mission, then college and a truck. His dream truck is a First Gen Dodge Cummins, dark purple with a black flat bed.
He has competed at the Utah High School State Finals each year of high school, in the team roping as a freshman, in the steer wrestling as a sophomore, and in both events this past summer, where he qualified for the short go round in the steer wrestling.
After high school graduation, Cole will serve a mission for his church, then he might go to college or he might cowboy on a ranch.
He is a senior at Ridgeline High School in Millville, where welding class is his favorite. In addition to his sister, Kirby, he has a younger brother, Chance, who is six. He is the son of Travis and Stacie Jenson.
Sadie Waller loves her chocolate. She could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and never get sick, and oftentimes, she does have it for breakfast. If there’s chocolate ice cream in the fridge, she’ll have it for her morning meal, and her mom doesn’t mind a bit. “She encourages it,” Sadie says, and her mom often joins her.
The eighteen year old cowgirl, a member of the Utah High School Rodeo Association, competes in the breakaway roping, pole bending, barrel racing, queening, and reining cow horse events. Her favorite event is reining cow horse. She’s patiently working with her horse after he blew a tendon a year ago, to get him back in shape. He’s been resting for the last eight months, and now she’s working on rebuilding his muscles.
Sadie, a resident of Wellington, Utah, is a senior at Carbon High School. She plays volleyball, is a member of the FFA and the National Honor Society, and is on her school’s high honor roll. She is the reigning Strawberry Days PRCA Rodeo Queen.
She has competed at state finals the last three years and at Silver State the last two years, finishing in the top ten at state and in fifth place at Silver State in the reining cow horse.
When she graduates from high school, she will also graduate with a degree in cosmetology. She’d like to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine and compete in college rodeo.
And she never turns down chocolate, especially dark chocolate. She has a good motive for eating it. “I heard that helps your thinking,” she laughed, “so there’s a positive to it, too.”
She has an older sister, Gentry, who is nineteen. She is the daughter of Nicki Nelson.