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
Jake George is an 18-year-old rodeo athlete from the quiet town of Grantsville, Utah. He is a senior at Grantsville High School, and particularly enjoys his Veterinary Assistant class and welding. He loves the medical side of the veterinary field, as well as the environment of the class. He enjoys welding because it “gives him a chance to take his mind off of his other classes to do something with his hands and construct something meaningful.” Jake is a member his school’s chapter of the National FFA Organization, and recently competed as a member of the state winning team for the Vet Science Career Development Event. He and his team will be competing at the National FFA Convention this fall. Jake’s other hobbies include showing sheep, duck hunting and deer hunting. After high school, he plans to attend Utah State University and study veterinary medicine.
Jake is the son of Heather George of Stansbury and Kyle George and Bethany Welch of Grantsville. Jake has twin brothers, Jaxson and Keaton, and step brothers Nyxon and Taetum. When he spends time with his mom, he enjoys going to St. George, swimming, and watching her competing in triathlons. With his dad and brothers, he enjoys roping the dummy, going to rodeos, and playing catch. Jake was raised around roping, learning from his dad, uncle Doug, and cousin Weston. Jake’s father Kyle started competing in the PRCA at 22-years-old and was on his way to becoming the oldest Rookie of the Year ever when he was diagnosed with bone marrow failure disease. Jake has been competing in various jackpot rodeos since he was 15, and started high school rodeoing at the beginning of this season last fall. He knew before he started that some of the athletes had more experience, but he set a goal to qualify for the state finals at his first rodeo, and he did just that. Competing in the team roping as a heeler for Colby Johnson, Jake would like to gather up some more points before the state finals and take first at one of their rodeos.
Rodeo has taught Jake that, “no matter what, there is always another opportunity, always another chance to succeed. Failure helps you learn, helps you come closer to your success.” He likes the John Wayne quote, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” He knows that you must try thing that scare you or might be difficult in order to grow as a person. One of the hardest things Jake has had to do is come out of his shell and try new things, like competing in speaking contests through the FFA and talking to other athletes at high school rodeos.
Jake’s hero is his father, who fought through his disease because he wanted to see his sons grow up and be there to teach them the things a man ought to know. Jake admires his father’s selfless dedication, and his ability to smile through all the pain of that trial. Striving to be like his father, Jake’s greatest strength is his optimism. He said, “I always look for the good in the situation or the good in people. I know there is always another side of the story, so I try to see the best in every circumstance.”
Jake would like to thank his family for always having his back and being willing to help him pursue his dreams. He would like to thank his FFA advisors, Ed and Holly Johnson, for helping him come out of his shell and giving him so many opportunities to learn. He would also like to thank Cody and Colby Johnson for their time and effort on his behalf, and for helping him become the roper he is today.
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