Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Members: Shooting Sports
Stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Brock Alder loves shooting light rifle competition in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association.
The 13-year-old cowboy, a resident of Logan, Utah, likes the challenge of shooting. “It’s a good challenge to get better,” he said. “There are a lot of tough kids, and it’s fun to be able to compete against them.”
He is a seventh grade student at Willow Valley Middle School in Wellsville, Utah, where he likes to learn. He enjoys all his classes, but especially history class, because “I like to learn about things that happened in the past,” he said. He loves studying how the American West was settled and World War II and the Vietnam War.
He also likes his choir teacher, Mr Caldwell. The class sings a variety of songs, and Mr. Caldwell is very knowledgeable. “We learn a bunch of fun things and cool facts,” Brock said.
Brock loves music in general, especially country music, and especially music by Chris LeDoux. His favorite LeDoux song is “Western Skies.” His favorite current artist is Brantley Gilbert, and his favorite Gilbert songs are “Kick It In the Sticks” and “Bottoms Up.”
His favorite part of the school day is lunch, when he can socialize with friends. The school lunches aren’t the best, but Wednesdays are always a good lunch day: the cafeteria serves roast beef or turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetables. Sometimes his mom will pack him a lunch from home. His favorite packed lunch is spaghetti, in a Thermos, which keeps it hot till lunchtime.
Brock has studied what it takes to be a good shooter. He read a book called “The Red Circle,” written by a Navy Seal Sniper, and he’s learned that a lot of things can make a difference in a person’s shooting. “There are things you wouldn’t think would matter, but they do.” Shoes can make a big difference. “You want them flat, and you want them to stick to the ground,” Brock said. Breathing is also important. A person breathes in a pattern, and shooting need to be done according to the pattern. “You want to time that pattern so you can shoot at the right time,” Brock said. “The Navy Seals shoot at the bottom, where there’s a pause. I’ve tried that and I’ve done pretty good with that.”
Brock is educated about more than just shooting, his mom Jenny said. “He has a vast knowledge of everything,” she said. “History, tractors, he loves to learn. He’s a great kid to be around. We’re lucky that we got him in our family.”
He finished fifth in the state at finals last year, but because one of the top four places decided not to go to Nationals, he got to go. At Nationals, he finished 35th out of 117 shooters.
When he grows up, he’d like to be a crop and livestock farmer.
Kagen Rhodes loves to shoot.
The Price, Utah cowboy, a member of the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, competes in the light rifle shooting. And in his spare time, he loves to hunt with his family.
His dad and grandpa have helped him with his light rifle shooting, along with some research on the internet.
Kagen, who is 14, is an eighth grade student at Mont Harmon Middle School in Price. He loves his math and woodshop classes, and in woodshop, has made puzzles, a pen and Christmas ornaments on the lathe, a boomerang and a CO2 car. He gave his dad the pen, and his mom the Christmas ornaments.
He plays baseball, football, and shoots bows.
He and his family like to hunt deer, elk, rabbits and prairie dogs, and Kagen has gotten an elk. The first day he went out with his grandpa, he shot but missed. The second day he and grandpa went out, there was a herd of elk standing right outside the ranch gate where his grandpa guides hunts. He shot a cow, and got his first elk.
The Rhodes place has 17 cows, three horses, five goats, 20 chickens and two dogs. Kagen does chores each morning and night, to feed and water the animals and gather eggs.
When he grows up, he’d like to be a veterinarian. He competed at state finals last year as a seventh grader.
He has an older brother, Kolton, who is sixteen, and a younger sister, Kashley, who is ten.
He is the son of Kody and Kendra Rhodes.
Curry Wilkins competes in the light rifle shooting in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association.
The 14-year-old Jensen, Utah cowboy is best at the prone position of shooting, and loves to do that.
He is a seventh grade student at Vernal Middle School, where he loves science but isn’t crazy about math. He really likes his language arts teacher, Miss Southam, because she’s funny and she’s all business. “Her attitude is, ‘get it done or you’re not in my class,’” Curry said, and he appreciates that.
The Wilkins place has a variety of animals: horses, goats, dogs, cats, cows, and chickens, and part of Curry’s duties are evening chores, where he feeds and waters animals and gathers eggs.
Curry likes to trap “anything and everything that has fur on it,” he said. He sets out about ten traps along the Green River, and so far has caught several raccoons and red foxes. Any money he makes from trapping, he’ll put back into his business. He loves to hunt deer, elk, rabbits, ducks, and turkey, and shoot his bow, shotgun, muzzleloader, and pistols as well as his light rifle.
This is Curry’s first year to compete in junior high rodeo.
He has two older sisters: Sequoyah, who is 21, and Chandler, who is nineteen.
He is the son of Randy and Jenny Wilkins and the fifth generation to live on the family farm.