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High school rodeo athletes have fun, compete at youth event

Shawnee, Okla. (July 12, 2012) – There’s more to life than rodeo.

Just ask Jasper, Texas cowboy Matt Morian.

Matt and his parents and younger sister Sydni are spending the week at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Okla., and when Matt isn’t competing in the steer wrestling and team roping, he’s cooling off in the pool set up near his family’s trailer.

It’s hot in Shawnee, Matt reports, and the pool is great entertainment. “I like to show off my swan diving skills off the nose of the trailer,” he jokes. “It’s fun to float around.”

The pool was a popular place for Matt and his friends to cool off during the hot summer afternoons.

This is Matt’s first year of competition at the world’s richest youth rodeo, and he’s serious about his rodeo, but he’s also serious about his fun.

The 17 year old cowboy also competes in the Texas High School Rodeo Association, finishing as Region 5 Steer Wrestling Champion this year.

But there is more to life than rodeo for Matt. He keeps his grades up, per his parents’ request. “I have to keep them up or I wouldn’t be here (at the rodeo.) Academics come first.”

And after his senior year at Jasper, Texas High School, he will attend college, hopefully on an academic scholarship. “I think I have a rodeo scholarship coming, but I want an academic scholarship. I’d like to rely on academics more than anything else, because that’s what’s going to make me the money.”

He wants to earn a political science degree with a minor in business and go on to law school. “I want to provide for my kids, if I have any, the same way my father has done for me.”

And why law school? “Well, I’ve always had the gift of gab. I like to talk, and I can argue a good point. I think the law is the way to go for me.”

Matt turned in two solid runs in the steer wrestling and is hoping his times are good enough for him to qualify for the short go-round on Friday night.

But even if he doesn’t make the short go, that’s fine by him. Life is good. “I like to live life. I have a good time. I’m a happy person.”

Matt is the son of Bill and Martha Morian.  

The IFYR wraps up its second go-round competition on the evening of July 12 and the morning of July 13. The top twelve contestants in each event return for the short go-round on the evening of July 13, when champions will be crowned in each event. For more information, visit www.IFYR.com or call 405.323.0177.