Reeves wrestles lead in Angelo

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Steer wrestler Matt Reeves transitions from his horse to his steer during Sunday’s fourth performance of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Reeves’ two-run cumulative time of 8.4 seconds leads the rodeo.

SAN ANGELO, Texas – For most of his lifetime, Matt Reeves’ focus was on the business at hand, and his livelihood was based on steer wrestling.

Things are different now. He and his wife, Savannah, have two boys; Carson is 8, and Hudson is 6. They’re active, as most kids are at that age. Being on the rodeo road and away from the family’s home in Cross Plains, Texas, isn’t the priority it once was, but making the 100-mile trek to compete at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo is still a big deal.

“I’ve had a lot of luck” in San Angelo, said Reeves, an eight-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “It’s close to home, so my family gets to come. It’s a great atmosphere; it’s a fun rodeo.”

It’s also a great place for him to find the pay window. He gave himself a great chance to do that with a 4.3-second run during Sunday’s fourth performance at Foster Communications Coliseum and moved into the top spot in the aggregate race with a two-run cumulative time of 8.4 seconds.

“I’ve only won the rodeo that one time in 2020, but I placed a lot over the years,” said Reeves, now 45. “I’ve placed in the average and done good here quite a bit. It’s a fast start, and I like fast starts. I do enjoy this rodeo.

“Shoot, at my age, I better enjoy them.”

He laughed a little at the thought, but he’s beating youngsters that are half his age. He still craves the competition, the adrenaline rush, the working with good horses. In San Angelo, he rode Crush, a horse owned by fellow bulldogger Ty Erickson.

“That’s a great horse, and I’ve had some great horses and ridden some great horses,” Reeves said. “That horse really runs, and he’s so good and so quiet in the box. Turns around, hits the corner, and he’s right almost every time. He scores outstanding. And you know he’s going to give you a chance to catch the steer.

“The fact that he’s so good in the box and still so sharp off your hand … that is amazing.”

Reeves has been around the bulldogging game for many years. When he’s not made the NFR as a competitor, he’s been there as a hazer. He’s served as the steer wrestling representative for the PRCA’s board and is also a ProRodeo official, a referee for the game. In ways, he’ll always be around it. Listed at 6-foot, 215 pounds, he’s one of the smaller men in the world of steer wrestling, but he’s utilized his athleticism and his technique to remain one of the best of his generation.

Now, though, he doesn’t want to miss the baseball games and the T-ball fun. He wants to be involved in his children’s lives as much as they’ve been involved in his. He’s in position to return to Tom Green County in 11 days to battle for another San Angelo rodeo title during the April 9 championship round. The time he won the crown in this west Texas community, Reeves was still riding the momentum of his 2019 NFR average title, the biggest prize in his trophy case.

The nearly $10,000 he earned in San Angelo that year catapulted him back to ProRodeo’s grand championship in 2020. He hasn’t returned to the NFR as a contestant, and he’s not sure he’ll get another chance. He will see how things wrap up inside the small coliseum and may see if Crush can get him back to the promise land.

“I may go to some spring rodeos, and if this goes good, I may see what happens,” Reeves said. “If it goes really good, I may even go to Reno (Nevada in June) and stay with (Crush) for a while. If I can ride this horse, I’m going to go to some rodeos. My kids are old enough that they can remember this stuff, so it’d be nice to maybe give myself one more chance so they can be part of it, too.”

Rodeo can oftentimes be a singular sport. It’s a man-vs.-beast competition, and only one person in each event is named world champion each year. More often than not, though, there’s a teamwork approach that is weaved into the fabric of every decision.

In the case of Matt Reeves, it centers around a great horse and a family he cherishes.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
April 5-19
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Cooper Cooke, 88.5 points on Korkow Rodeo’s Buffalo Soldier; 2. (tie) Ethan Mazurenko and Will Norstrom, 86; 3. 4. Caleb Bennett, 84; 5. Cole Franks, 83.5; 6. Jess Pope, 83; 7. Ty Pope, 82; 8. Danton Bertsch, 80.5; 9. (tie) Gauge McBride, Clint Laye and Brayze Schill, 80; 12. Richmond Champion, 78.5.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.6 seconds; 2. Cole Walker, 3.7; 3. Stetson Jorgensen, 3.8; 4. Trisyn Kalawaia, 3.9; 5. Gavin Soileau, 4.0; 6. (tie) Matt Reeves and Jay Williamson, 4.1; 8; (tie) Tucker Allen and Brandon Harrison, 4.2. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Rooster Yazzie and Trever Nelson, 3.6 seconds; 3. Ty Erickson, 3.7; 4. (tie) Heath Thomas and Adam Musil, 3.9; 6. Chance Howard, 4.1; 7. (tie) Dirk Tavenner, Tanner Brunner, Tyke Kipp and Wade Steffen, 4.2. Average leaders: 1. Matt Reeves, 8.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Cole Walker, 8.7; 3. Trever Nelson, 8.9; 4. Gavin Soileau, 9.0; 5. Trisyn Kalawaia, 9.2; 6. Stetson Jorgensen, 9.3; 7. Heath Thomas, 9.4; 8. Jake Nelson, 9.6; 9. (tie) Bridger Anderson, Justin Schaffer, Chance Howard and Gus Franzen, 9.8.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Brady Tryan/Calgary Smith, 4.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Travis Graves, Devon Johnson/Boogie Ray and Max Kuttler/Cashton Weidenbener, 4.2; 5. Kolton Schmidt/Landen Glenn, 4.3; 6. (tie) Jesse Boos/Jace Steenhoek, Garett Chick/Lane Siggins, Devon McDaniel/Walt Woodard and Peyton Walters/Brandon Gonzales, 4.5. Second round leaders: 1. Chace Thompson/Chad Williams, 3.7 seconds; 2. J.C. Yeahquo/Buddy Hawkins II, 3.8; 3. Mason Appleton/Cooper Freeman, 3.9; 4. (tie) Wade Smith/Zach Varian and Slade Wood/Nathan Walker, 4.0; 6. (tie) James Arviso/J.R. Gonzalez and Shay Carrol/Jace Helton, 4.1; 8. Coy Brittain/Colton Brittain, 4.1. Average leaders: 1. James Arviso/J.R. Gonzalez, 8.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Shay Carroll/Jace Helton, 9.4; 3. (tie) Cash Duty/Ross Ashford and Devon Johnson/Boogie Ray, 10.1; 5. Brye Crites/Tyler Worley, 10.8; 6. Curry Kirchner/Jake Edwards, 11.0; 7. Jesse Boos/Jace Steenhoek, 14.0; 8. Koby Sanchez/Trace Porter, 14.2; 9. Coy Brittain/Colton Brittain, 14.3; 10. Reno Stoebner/Clay Green, 14.5; 11. Chace Thompson/Chad Williams, 14.7; 12. John Wesley Sharp/Dodge Hare, 15.2.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Lefty Holman, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s California Kiss; 2. (tie) Cort Scheer and Tyrel Roberts, 86.5; 4. Brody Cress, 86; 5. Jake Watson, 82.5; 6. Kyle Wanchuk, 82; 7. Tegan Smith, 81; 8. (tie) Cash Wilson, Jarrod Hammons and Q Taylor, 80; 11. Spencer Wright, 78; 12. (tie) Dylan Young and Jake Finlay, 77.5.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Riley Webb, 6.9 seconds; 2. Tuf Cooper, 7.6; (tie) Bryce Derrer and Connor Atkinson, 7.8; 5. Ryan Jarrett, 7.9; 6. Cash Hooper, 8.1; 7. Marty Yates, 8.2; 8. Colton Farquer, 8.4. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Cash Enderli, Zaine Mikita and Marty Yates, 7.3 seconds; 4. Jake Pratt, 7.4; 5. Charlie Gibson, 7.5; 6. Jeremiah Peek, 7.6; 7. (tie) Hunter Herrin and Paden Bray, 7.7. Average leaders: 1. Marty Yates, 15.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Cash Cooper, 16.3; 3. Ryan Jarrett, 16.4; 4. Connor Blaise Atkinson and Cole Clemens, 16.5; 6. Tuf Cooper, 16.7; 7. Dylan Hancock, 17.1; 8. Riley Webb, 17.5; 9. (tie) Carson Watford and Chance Oftedahl, 18.0; 11. Westyn Hughes, 18.2; 12. (tie) Ty Moser, Brey Yore and Garrett Jacobs, 18.3.

Breakaway roping: First round leaders: 1. Alli Masters, 2.3 seconds; 2. Josie Conner, 2.6; 3. Jackie Crawford, 2.9; 4. Lari Dee Guy, 3.5; 5. Samantha Fulton, 3.8; 6. Beau Peterson, 4.4; 7. Maddy Deerman, 11.9; 8. Bailey Bates, 12.1; 9. Braylee shepherd, 12.6; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Alli Masters and Taylor Munsell, 2.1 seconds; 3. Josie Conner, 2.6; 4. (tie) Willow Wilson and Jackie Crawford, 2.7; 6. Braylee Shepherd, 2.8; 7. Hope Thompson, 3.4; 8. Maddy Deerman, 3.6; 9. Beau Peterson, 11.9; 10. Samantha Fulton, 12.10; 12. Lari Dee Guy, 12.4. Average leaders: 1. Alli Masters, 4.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Josie Conner, 5.2; 3. Jackie Crawford, 5.6; 4. Braylee Shepherd, 15.4; 5. Maddy Deerman, 15.5; 6. (tie) Samantha Fulton and Lari Dee Guy, 15.9; 8. Beau Peterson, 16.3; 9. Taylor Munsell, 2.1 seconds on one run; 10. Willow Wilson, 2.7; 11. Hope Thompson, 3.4; 12. Bailey Bates, 12.1.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Dona Kay Rule, 14.08 seconds; 2. Jordan Driver, 14.15; 3. Timber Allenbrand, 14.20; 4. Abby Phillips, 14.26; 5. Sami Jo Buum, 14.34; 6. Paige Jones, 14.36; 7. Rachel Heurkamp, 14.42; 8. Ashley Castleberry, 14.45; 9. Chelsea Moore, 14.46; 10. Shannon Pearson, 14.47; 11. Amy Grey, 14.50; 12. Bailey Davis, 14.54. Average leaders: 1. Dona Kay Rule, 30.25 seconds on two runs; 2. Ashley Castleberry, 30.54; 3. Abby Phillips, 30.56; 4. Timber Allenbrand, 30.60; 5. Paige Jones, 30.78; 6. Sami Jo Buum, 30.83; 7. Shy-Anne Jarrett, 30.93; 8. Chelsea Moore, 31.04; 9. Rachel Huerkamp, 31.06; 10. Jordan Driver, 31.11; 11. Shannon Pearson, 31.23; 12. Amy Grey, 31.26; 13. Ashley Parks, 31.27; 14. Sophie Dunn, 31.30; 15. Bailey Davis, 31.31.

Bull riding leaders: 1. J.R. Stratford, 90 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Bruised Kitty; 2. (tie) Jackson Carter Ward, Colton Byram and Vinell Vince Mariano, 86.5; 5. Riley Shippy, 86; 6. Kase Hitt, 85; 7. Tyce Willis, 82.5; 8. Scottie Knapp, 80; 9. Lane Michael Vaughan, 78; 10. Dylan Grant, 70; no other qualified rides.


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