While other kids in middle school are shooting baskets and learning instruments for extracurricular activities, 8th grader Sam Wieland is getting involved by grabbing the bull by the horns… literally.
email@example.com Over the winter months, Sam Wieland has been going from town to town competing in indoor junior high bull riding competitions. After placing second at the Bowman competition, Sam Wieland qualified for the junior high rodeo state competition.
According to Sam’s father, Joe Wieland, only the top 10 bull riders qualify for the state competition, and Sam is currently ranked ninth in the state.
The young bull rider said that he is ecstatic to compete at the state Bismarck competition on May 17th and 18th.
When asked if riding a crazed bull scares him, Sam shook his head no. “It’s an adrenaline rush,” he said.
Sam’s father laughed and added, “I think he knows what he’s doing, or at least I hope he does.”
In Hettinger, Sam’s passion for bull riding is incredibly unique. Joe Wieland said that to his knowledge, his son is the only Hettinger Public School student involved in junior bull riding competitions.
“Nobody knows that Sam is even riding and succeeding in these competitions,” said Joe.
So far, Sam has managed to achieve impressive bull riding titles without the guidance of a coach or team. Sam’s father admitted that bull riding isn’t even a family sport.
“I’ve never ridden a bull. It’s not something I’ve ever done before,” said Joe, “We’ve been around cattle, but I don’t know where he got the riding part from.”
Sam has learned everything about bull riding from going to various rodeo camps around the state.
“There’s no rodeo team in Hettinger,” explained Joe. “Four years ago we enrolled him in a west river rodeo bible camp and he liked it, so we kept sending him there. Just last summer we sent him to a school where he learned from famous bull riders.”
In two weeks, Sam is headed to Fargo to compete in another junior high rodeo competition. Looking forward, Sam is eager to compete.
“I just want to get better and keep winning,” said Sam.