Meet the Member Mollie Burris
story by Siri Stevens “We were in the holding pen and when it came time to call her name, we were in the process of […]
Story by Carry Hollingsworth
William Gunter is one of fifty grandchildren and number four of seven to his parents, Jason and Jessica Gunter. The Gunter family is no stranger to the sport of rodeo. William’s oldest sister, Lexi, college rodeos for McNeese State University. His sister, Brooklyn is a two-time IFYR Champion pole bender, and a two-time National High School Rodeo Association world champion pole bender. His sister, Gabby is a National Junior High School Rodeo Association world champion pole bender, and an IFYR champion pole bender, as well. It’s apparent that William and his other siblings have some big boots to fill in order to live up to their family’s rodeo legacy, but that’s no problem for the fourteen-year-old cowboy from Sulphur, Louisiana.
William has shown what true hard work and dedication is after coming back from a broken hand and collar bone just in time to ride in the LJHSRA State Finals this past summer. He competes in team roping, calf roping, ribbon roping, and chute dogging, and he has his mind set on winning a state and national championship in the near future.
William has three horses, but his go to horse is his calf roping horse, Rubben. He says his favorite quality about Rubben is “How calm he is and how good he works in the box.” The Gunter’s have been a part of the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association for years and their favorite part is, “The family, friends, and great support system.”
William may be young, but he already has some big plans for his future. He plans to steer wrestle in college and hopefully go pro. Have you ever heard the saying, “Work until your idols become your rivals?” Well, this cowboy is on a first name basis with his. Like I said before, this family is no stranger to the rodeo world. Williams uncle is a five-time Wrangler National Finals qualifier in the steer wrestling, Casey Martin. His cousin, Tristian Martin, is traveling across the country, steer wrestling in the pro circuit right now.
Rodeo is one of the most time-consuming sports, but William still makes time to play football, basketball, and hunt. He has a lab, Trip, that was his four-legged hunting partner. Trip is getting older, so William decided it was best to retire him from his hunting career. He says “Everyone in my family would fight over Trip when duck hunting season came around, that’s how good he was.”
Trip is obviously more than just a dog to William, he’s part of the family, so before Hurricane Laura hit, the Gunter family, Trip, nine other dogs, and eight horses evacuated to Stephenville, Texas. William’s house only had some minor roof damage, but his family camp in Hackberry, Louisiana didn’t fare so well. The camp is completely destroyed. Most of the shingles on the roof are gone, the awning was ripped off, windows were busted, and water got inside. Although William and his family are devastated, they are remaining grateful. William says, “The material stuff can be replaced, we are blessed everyone is still alive, and that we have a community that is coming together to help one another.”
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