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Meet the Member Will Boudreaux
story by Michele Toberer
“Try to rope fast, or be last,” is the attitude Will Boudreaux maintains when it comes to his rodeo performance. Although the 14-year-old, South Cameron High School freshman has only been competing in rodeos for the past 4 years, his determination to master his events and chase his rodeo dreams has given him success from the beginning. “Will was actually tricked into entering his first rodeo when he was 10. He didn’t like all the attention on him, so even though he roped at home and practiced with his friend Hunter LeBeouf, he only entered the breakaway roping because Hunter’s dad, Gary LeBeouf, had entered him without telling him,” explains Will’s dad, J.R. Boudreaux. Getting a taste of that competition in the rodeo arena was all that the Cameron, Louisiana cowboy needed to get hooked on rodeo.
Will’s family had some rodeo background to glean from; his uncle, Derek Thibodeaux, was a steer wrestler and his Papa, Earl Guthrie, rode bulls in the 1970’s. Will and his sister Meg, 10, live with their parents J.R. and Kassie Boudreaux, on their family farm where their Papa Earl has raised cattle for over 50 years. Will spent several years showing Brafords and riding horses to work the cattle on their ranch, which between two tracts of land is nearly 3000 acres.
Will competed in the Louisiana junior high division, and during his NJHSFR competition last year as an eighth-grader he competed in breakaway roping and team roping, heading for partner Eli LeBleu. Beginner-jitters were not an issue for Will, “I qualified for the short round in both of my events, and finished up in 8th place in breakaway, and 16th place in team roping after the last round.”
High school rodeo is one of the highlights of Will’s freshman year, and although he loves competing in LHSRA, at school he feels the disadvantages of being a lower classman, “We were the kings last year in 8th grade, but we’re not the kings anymore.” Will’s favorite class is P.E. and after school he enjoys going to Ragley to work on the family farm when he doesn’t have rodeo practice. He looks forward to college rodeo in his future and is considering McNeese State University for his studies. Any spare time Will has between school and rodeo activities, you will likely find him hunting. “I love to hunt, especially duck hunting, we hunt in some marshes near the house. We also have a hunting lease in Texas where we go to deer hunt every year.” Will can see himself following in his dad’s footsteps and working in a liquid natural gas plant like Cheniere LNG, where J.R. works. But mainly he envisions a future in the professional ranks of rodeo with the ultimate goal of roping at the WNFR one day.
“I really like being a part of LHSRA, it is great to see all my friends and get a vacation from school as we are on the road to rodeos every weekend.” Will is competing as a team roper his rookie year of LHSRA, heading for CJ Covalt. He’s been riding a sorrel gelding named Thread for the past 5 years, and he also practices on a bay gelding named Jack. “Thread puts me in the same position every time, he pulls hard when I turn the steer, and he faces good.”
Lance McFarland helps Will with his team roping techniques and Will appreciates how he has helped him improve his game. “I’m really grateful to my parents for their support and for dragging me all over the country to rodeos; and to my Gran and sister for tagging along and never complaining. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Scotty Primeaux for helping me with my horsemanship and attitude.”