Meet the Member: Grayce Baxter
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 […]
story by Riata Cummings
Colt Ekker is a senior at North Sevier High School, where he enjoys his agricultural and wood shop classes that allow him to develop his technical ability. Colt plays football and wrestles, and he enjoys team roping and training horses. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, and mechanicing work. After high school he plans to attend farrier school and continue with his mechanic work.
Colt is the son of Audie and Kenjela Ekker of Sigurd, Utah. He is the second oldest, and his siblings are Tanner, Brinzie, and Case. Colt grew up shooting trap under his grandfather’s supervision, starting when he was 8-years-old. He began competing in the trap shooting contests through the UHSRA as a freshman. His freshman and sophomore year he qualified for the Silver State International Rodeo. Last year he finished 4th in the state and competed at nationals where he finished 12th in the world. This year he has “struggled mentally,” but is currently sitting 5th. He has set a goal to win state, go back to nationals and take the world title.
He shoots every Sunday with his grandfather and father, shooting 50 rounds, stopping for coaching and evaluation, and then shooting another 50 rounds. This pattern replicates the process at the competitions, which helps him focus and prepare for the pressure of competing. One of the most challenging parts of competing is “keeping your mind straight. Even if you miss one you can’t let your focus go because you never know what could happen. You’re never out of it if your mind’s in it.”
Colt loves that trap shooting is a “one-person sport. Every win or loss depends on you.” He also loves that it demands “mental determination. You have to make sure your mind is in the right spot every time.” Although he wishes shooters were given more recognition in the rodeo world, he loves that “everyone at the shoot helps each other out, and it feels like a big family out there at the range.” Getting to see everyone and hanging out with friends is one of his favorite parts of being at the rodeo shoots.
Competing in the shooting has taught Colt that “you can still have fun when you’re in competitive situations.” He believes that “there is still goodness in competition, especially the ones connected to rodeo. You hear the negative stories about bad sportsmanship in other sports, but for us there is always someone there to help and everyone encourages everyone.” One of Colt’s greatest strengths is his dependability. “I try to have other people’s backs. Sometimes there are new shooters that seem alone, and I try to talk to them, encourage them, give them advice and let them know I am there for them.” The advice he would give rookie shooters is, “Remember that there is always room for improvement. Everyone shoots differently, but the more you practice the better you will get.”
Colt lives by the saying, “We are born for greatness.” This quote reminds him that “everyone is here for a reason, and even if you’re struggling there is greatness to come.” This mentality gives him hope and reminds him that “it’s going to get better.” Colt looks up to his father and grandfather, who are “hard working, caring, and determined to get things done.” One day he would like to emulate those qualities. Colt would like to thank his parents and grandfather for the countless hours of helping him practice and supporting him at shoots. He is grateful for the people who have made his dreams a possibility.
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