Goat Boy

My youngest son, Garris, is in eighth grade and competes in junior high rodeos. Right now, he is leading the boys all around, calf roping, goat tying, and chute dogging. He’s high in the standings for team roping and ribbon roping as well.

This past June, he qualified for the National junior high rodeo in four events, everything except team roping. I drove him to Lebanon, Tennessee, about 30 miles outside of Nashville.

To give a little background, he has been the boy to beat in the goat tying for the past year and a half. He consistently ties under eleven seconds, and this fall has even had a couple of nine second ties. When we got to TN, he was ready for the goats. His first run, nerves got him. He tripped, bobbled his tie, and his goat got up, resulting in a no time. Needless to say, he was disappointed. His second run was his fastest at that time. It was under ten seconds, and for about two rounds, he led the nation in the boys goat tying. Ultimately, he ended up seventh in the round. Had his first goat stayed down, he would have made the short go.

When we left, he told me he was going back next year to win the event. And I think he can. He has as good a get off as anyone. And the fastest hands of any boy his age. If he can stay focused for three good runs, I believe he can win the nation.

And brings me to a rodeo a few weeks ago. We were in Bozeman, for the second day of the two day rodeo. Enough people have watched him tie goats that when it’s his turn to go, there is usually a line at the fence. And sure enough, that day was no exception

My folks were there to watch, so my mom taped it.

Garris came flying into the arena on Jack, his heading horse. He had a great get off and ran toward the goat, but he caught his toe on the stake and tripped. That sent him flying head first into the goat. Literally. He flew into the goat. Then he bounced up, flanked the goat, and tied it,, as if nothing had happened. We could hear all his buddies outside the arena screaming.

The announcer said, “He did all that in 10.6 seconds.

Now, that is a good goat time for a boy without tripping and ramming your head into the goat. The fact that he had that fast of a time after a fall means that he was smoking fast.

When he got up, he started spitting out sand and shook his hair out. And yes, he did win the event and he won the average for the weekend.

Garris won the average in every event that weekend, plus the all around. By the time we got the goats it was almost a joke. When he fell, I was sure he wasn’t going to get the average. But it turned out t be his weekend. That night, when he took his hat off, there was a line where the sand had plastered his face.

He doesn’t like me to call him Goat Boy, but I can’t resist. This is his last year tying goats, and his brother has got him roping and tying calves already, so he can step right into the event next year in high school. But I will miss watching him dominate this event. He’s just so good at it.

And I do hope he can translate his skills into a title, both at state and at nationals. If he can avoid the stake, he might even make some eight second runs. Wouldn’t that be cool?

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