story by Siri Stevens Steve Stone lives in Rio Vista, Texas. “It’s a little slice of heaven,” he says. “I love Texas. I’ve been 10,000 […]
Nearly every day, three generations of the Willson family get together and rope. Papa Morris, dad Robin, and son and grandson Colton Willson gather at the family arena near Monterey, La., to practice their tie-down and team roping skills.
It’s all in the family for Colton, who, as a member of the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo Association, is a tie-down roper, heeler (for Quincy Mudd, who lives in Lake Charles), and ribbon roper (his runner is Lena Johnson). For the tie-down roping, Colton rides an eight year old palomino mare named Jackie, who was trained by his Papa. To heel, he rides an eleven year old gelding named J.F. Colton’s sister Ashlee also rides J.F. for the breakaway roping.
Colton’s favorite event is the tie-down roping, because “it’s so fast, it’s constantly moving, and that’s what I mainly train on. My Papa did it, and my daddy did it.” The Willsons practice under a covered arena for the tie-down roping, and an outdoor arena for the team roping.
Colton is an eighth grade student at Monterey High School. School isn’t his favorite thing. “My grades are pretty good, but I don’t like going.” He’d much rather be outside. If he was forced to choose a favorite class, it would be history, but mostly only because his history teacher, Mr. Wells, likes to duck hunt, and that’s what the two talk about.
Hunting is one of his favorite things to do. Ducks are his favorite, but he also likes to hunt deer, hogs, squirrels, rabbits, and even coons. He’s shot a few big deer in the past, along with two good-sized hogs that he figures weighed close to 250 lbs. The last deer he caught was a nine point with a 17 inch spread. Three of the deer he’s killed, he’s had mounted.
He prefers duck hunting mostly because a person can talk as he hunts. “You can talk and be social with your buddies. With deer or hog (hunting), you have to be quiet and serious and all that. I’d rather go duck hunting and not see a duck, than go deer hunting and see lots of deer.”
Colton plays baseball and basketball, and would play football, but his school is too small to field a football team. He has qualified for both years of state junior high finals. When he is out of high school, he plans on continuing his roping, and going to college. He’s not sure what kind of job he’d like, but something that doesn’t involve a desk is what he’ll consider. He’d like to have a job that keeps him
Colton has two older siblings. His brother, Hayden, is twenty and works in the oilfield, and his sister, Ashlee, is a senior in high school and is involved in high school rodeo. Both of them were junior high state champions and that is Colton’s goal this year. He is the son of Robin and Bridget Willson.