Meet the Member Gentry Godbey
story by Ruth Nicolaus Gentry Godbey has a bright, sparkly personality. The cowgirl, a Colorado Junior High School Rodeo member, is upbeat, positive, and a […]
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Ben Sittler loves rodeo, fishing, and the movie Eight Seconds.
In fact, the Colorado Junior High School Rodeo Association athlete has seen the movie so many times, he can say the words along with the actors, “and I can get into trouble sometimes when I do that,” he said, with his family members.
A bull rider, this is his first year of junior high school rodeo competition. The fourteen-year-old rode sheep as a little kid and enjoyed it, making his first mutton busting ride at age four.
Ben, who lives in Monte Vista, Colo., is an eighth grade student at Sanford School. He loves P.E. class, where kickball is one of his favorite games.
He plays football, basketball, baseball, and runs track, and is involved in 4-H. He shows goats and pigs but prefers goats (“because they don’t stink as much”) and has done some woodworking projects, like making a stepstool, ice fishing sled and a fishing rod holder.
His least favorite class is history, and school lunches are usually good: “our lunch ladies do a really good job for us,” he said.
The best food his mom makes is chicken enchiladas, and his favorite dessert is ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or cookie dough), with sprinkles or chocolate syrup on top. His favorite candy is Nerds, and he loves pop, any flavor.
Ben is an avid fisherman and loves going with his grandpa, Jesse Hernandez. The two go to area lakes in South Fork, Creede, and Alamosa, and fishing with grandpa is “the best,” he reports, although grandpa is not as good of a fisherman as he is, he says. They take snacks, like Gatorade and beef jerky, and catch trout. But Ben is not a big fish eater, so he cleans his own fish and saves them for his family.
The most fun Ben has had on a trip was visiting the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver a few years ago, where he shopped for ropes and watched his friend Cordell Curtis, a PRCA Mountain States champion bull rider, compete. Cordell is a wonderful advisor for Ben: when Ben rides at the local jackpots, Cordell is often there to help him out.
For fun, he loves to work around the Sittler farm, which has a menagerie of animals: chickens, dogs, goats, turkeys, donkeys, horses, cows, cats and a peacock. He and his brother do chores each morning and evening, getting up 30-45 minutes early to get them done before they go to school. Chores aren’t bad unless it’s really cold and windy outside.
In his first year of junior high rodeo, he’s loving it. “It’s nice meeting the other people competing against me, and going to different places.”
His mother confirms that he loves rodeo. “It has become a part of his soul,” Roxann said. “He enjoys the friends, and he enjoys being around livestock and animals.” When he tagged along as one of his older brothers rodeoed, he spent much of his time behind the chutes, with the animals.
His parents, Roxann and Chris, enjoy their youngest child. “I appreciate that he is so thoughtful and kind to others. His humor keeps us on our toes,” Roxann said. “He’s a hard worker and he’s never idle. He’s just an all-around great kid.”
Ben won his first buckle at age twelve, at a jackpot, and he’s very proud of it.
He has two older brothers: Zach, age 21 and Alex, 15, and an older sister, Abbey, who is eighteen.
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