Meet the Member Tony McDowell
story by Michele Toberer There’s luck, then there’s beginners’ luck, and Tony McDowell may just have both. Although the argument that luck is just preparation […]
story by Jennie Lawrence
Jake Morinec, of Osseo, Michigan takes bull riding very seriously. At just 17-years-old, he says, “I prepare for rodeos by maintaining a healthy diet as best I can and working out and doing barrel work every single day, no matter how sore or tired I am.” He also gets on practice bulls at least every other week, and he keeps on working on the fundamentals.
Jake is the son of Cheryl and Mike Morinec. His mother is an accountant, and his father is a mechanic. He has a sister Cami, 15-years-old, and a brother Danny, 13-years-old. No one else in the family rodeos, but Jake credits his family among his biggest supporters. Along with friends, they stand behind him and push him to be better every day.
When Jake was younger, he was a very competitive Jujitsu fighter. He was in the gym at least six days a week. He no longer participates in any other sports. His sole focus is bull riding.
He got his start rodeoing in an unusual way. His family was camping at a campground that had a rodeo. Although he knew nothing about the cowboy and rodeo world, he rode sheep in the mutton busting. The family camped at the same place a few years in a row, and when Jake was 12-years-old, he outgrew mutton busting.
“One of the bull riders, Dalton Mursch was nice enough to go out of his way to help me out and show me the ropes in the sport of bull riding. I am extremely thankful because it has become my life and I knew nothing about it before that day,” Jake said. Now that he knows the basics, he enjoys helping other guys that are new to the sport of rodeo like Dalton did for him. He likes to help them gain confidence, and get the basics down. Age does not matter; Jake has helped older riders get a good start too.
Jake has been an International Miniature Rodeo Association member for two-years. He also rides in Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association events. He goes to two or three rodeos a week in the summer. In the winter he tries to make it to one or two, but sometimes just works the practice pen. He is proud of the fact that he won all four rounds at the IMRA finals rodeo.
The farthest he has traveled by himself to a rodeo is from northern Michigan to Eufaula, Oklahoma. His favorite rodeo trip meal is canned ravioli, or Tornados® from the gas station. Tea accompanies his meals. His favorite song that gets him pumped up and ready to ride is, “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid,” by The Offspring.
His rodeo hero is Lane Frost. Jake admires the fact that Lane always had a positive attitude, and was dedicated to rodeo. He strives to be like Frost. Maintaining a positive attitude helps him overlook the negatives, like a chute fighting bull or an injury.
Jake is in the 12th grade. He is completing his high-school education through an online homeschooling course. His favorite classes involve information and skills he can relate to and use in the real world. When he is not rodeoing, he enjoys doing welding projects and spending time with his family and friends. His favorite pet is his Vizsla dog, Cooper. “He’s a pretty cool dog,” Jake said.
With plans of being in business for himself, Jake and his two traveling partners are starting an apparel company called “Soaring Eagles.” However, his short-term goal is to start riding in the Professional Bull Riders in January. He wants to continue his career riding bulls. His dedication to the sport is giving him a good start.
“It’s pretty much about following God’s plan and surrounding yourself with the right people God puts in front of you,” he said.
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