Absolutely no softball.
Kyle, who qualified for his third CNFR as the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region tie-down roping champion, can’t help but remember last year’s college finale.
Surgery to repair a broken leg suffered in an intramural softball game had left a dozen screws and a plate to strengthen the injured limb.
He’s healthy now and looking to lead the Tarleton men’s team to a national title at the June 8-16 CNFR in Casper, Wyo.
Taking first-place wins at Texas Tech and Tarleton, along with a second at Vernon and a fourth at Eastern New Mexico, Kyle captured the regional title in dominating fashion, taking the crown by more than 100 points.
“I feel like this is the best I’ve ever roped,” he says. “Last year, I’d just had surgery and I didn’t have a lot of time to get ready for Casper. I feel a lot more prepared.”
Coming to Tarleton as a decorated high school roper from Lockhart, he won the FFA State Rodeo calf roping title, and qualified for the Texas High School Rodeo Association state rodeo as a calf roper, steer wrestler and team roper.
Kyle graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture services and development, making him the 13th family member to hang a Tarleton diploma on the wall.
“My mom, my dad, both my aunts, my sisters, all my cousins, everybody went to Tarleton,” he said.” I didn’t really have a choice. Not that I’d have gone anywhere else. I love Stephenville.”
Besides a strong educational heritage, he has an impressive family rodeo history, too. His dad, a calf-roper, and his mom, a barrel racer, were professionals.
He hopes to follow the same path after finishing his education.
First, though, comes the CNFR.
“I’m rodeoing a lot more this time around,” Kyle said. “The other times I took a little break. I’m going to a lot more rodeos and keeping the level of competition a little higher. I’m making myself a little more comfortable.”
He’ll take a friend with him to Wyoming to help his comfort level, too. His horse, Shortstop. The Southwest Region Horse of the Year has made the trip every time Kyle has qualified.
“All three times,” he said. “Third time is the charm.”