LAS VEGAS – Logan Medlin has said one of the greatest aspects of roping with Coleman Proctor is the Oklahoman’s propensity to stay positive even in tough situations.
The team ropers faced them two nights in a row when Proctor was unable to secure his head loop onto their steers’ during the sixth and seventh rounds of the National Finals Rodeo. Proctor’s personality shined, though, and instead of staying in the dumps, he rebounded.
Proctor and Medlin stopped the clock in a Round 8 record-tying 3.5-second run to win Thursday’s eighth round, with $28,914 each. Those two no-times may have cost the tandem a shot at the world championship, but the cash keeps adding up. They have earned $77,563 over eight nights in Las Vegas. Both are fifth in their respective world standings.
“It’s been a blast,” said Proctor of Pryor, Oklahoma. “It has been really fun and special for me as a guy that grew up dreaming of going to the National Finals to seeing your kids grow up in the stands of the National Finals. We brought Stella out here when she was 6 weeks old, and now she’s 5. Caymbree came along, and she’s 3.
“They are starting to understand it. Stella actually told me tonight that it was time to get a victory lap and ride in the van to the South Point, because we got one of those limo vans the last time. I said, ‘Yes, baby, we will try to get it.’ It has been special having your family and friends with you. It’s even more special when your family believes in you as much as mine does.”
They have reason to believe in him. It’s been about 15 years since he attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University and competed on the school’s rodeo team. He didn’t finish his degree then, but over the last year, he has taken online classes to finish what he started.
Dr. David Pecha, the executive vice president at Northwestern, arrived in Las Vegas this week to take in the NFR. While here, he presented Proctor with the degree he worked so hard to finally obtain. It was a special moment for him and his family. It also served as a way to keep his mind right for the job at hand.
“It’s an immense amount of pressure out here,” Proctor said. “I had a dear friend – my buddy, Justin Turner, who started hauling me when I was 13 – I texted him (Wednesday) night and sounded off my frustrations about what I thought was going on. He told me to just relax and not overthink it, just get back to doing what I do and what I did the first few rounds.
“I think looking at every opportunity you have, even a setback, that is just an opportunity for a comeback.”
That positivity rings, whether he’s doing the pre-show on the Purina stage each night in front of the Thomas & Mack Center or backing in the box hoping to rope nearly $29,000 a night. It’s part of his fabric, which has been woven by those around him.
“It comes down to all the support you get from back home,” Proctor said. “I have the greatest fans, family and friends. Not one has sent something to knock you while you’re down. They’re all encouraging you, and they are always trying to be a light to you. I’m just really thankful for that.”