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Soroco graduate prepares for college, life on rodeo road

Eric Logan, a 2016 Soroco High School graduate, hopes to land one more top finish at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo series before packing his bags and heading to college.
John F. Russell

— It was only a few moments before the first event of Friday’s Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, and South Routt bulldogger Erik Logan looked relaxed as he prepared his horse for the steer wrestling event.

“It’s just another rodeo,” said Logan, “Sure, there are a few more people here than some of the other rodeos I’ve competed at, but it’s really just another rodeo.”

The 2016 Soroco High School graduate has been making preparations all summer. On Aug. 16, he will leave the Yampa Valley for Odessa College, in Odessa Texas, for the start of his college rodeo career, something he has been looking forward to since he was a child.

The Steamboat rodeos have been special for Logan this summer, because they are only a short drive (at least in a cowboy’s world) from his family’s home in South Routt. On Friday, Logan had hoped to polish his skills and earn a little money in the process.

Unfortunately, the local favorite, who had a large number of family members seated in the grandstands, didn’t find the spotlight, as he failed to get a time in the steer wrestling or the tie-down roping. The disappointment is something most professional cowboys understand all too well, but it hit home for Logan, who is looking for a top finish before he leaves for college.

“It wasn’t a good night,” Logan said. “But I’ll be back next week to give it another shot. If I would have won the event, I think I still would have come back for one more. Not winning has made me even more hungry to come back.”

Friday marked the fourth time the South Routt cowboy has competed in the Steamboat Rodeo since receiving his card from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association last April. He placed fourth in his first Steamboat rodeo in June but has not been able to cash in since that finish.

He hopes next weekend will be different. He said he would love to leave for Odessa with the momentum that would come from a solid showing, not to mention with a few extra dollars in his pocket, courtesy of the local pro rodeo series.

“I would love to end the summer on a high note,” Logan said. “It would be a nice way to bring things to a close.”

For the past several months, Logan has been working hard to improve his game before her arrives at Odessa. The school has a tradition of producing top cowboys and cowgirls. Odessa College was represented at last year’s Wrangle National Finals Rodeo by four graduates.

Logan signed with the school after considering colleges in Colorado and Wyoming. He also toyed with the idea of pursuing football, but couldn’t pull away from his love of rodeo.

The two-year college has a top rodeo program led by Clint Aragon, who was a four-time regional coach of the year and one-time national coach of the year while at Mesalands Community College in New Mexico. Logan hopes to move on to a four-year school after Odessa and eventually wants to return home to help with the family ranch, just outside Yampa.

Logan began competing in rodeo at the age of 8, when he joined the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. He was a multi-sport athlete at Soroco, where he was all-conference in football and a star on the boys basketball team. As a sophomore, he joined the high school rodeo team and qualified to compete in the state meet three consecutive years. As a junior, he won the all-round title and also won the state steer wrestling title during both his junior and senior years.

He started competing in professional rodeos this summer after receiving his card from the PRCA when he turned 18. He has been a regular at the Steamboat rodeo series this summer, competing in steer wrestling and tie-down roping.

This summer, Logan has spent his free time working with 1996 world champion steer wrestler Chad Bedell, who is a family friend and role model for Logan. Bedell had three appearances at the National Finals Rodeos= before he retired and returned home to the Yampa Valley. He now works as the ranch manager at Marabou, just outside of Steamboat Springs.

As Logan prepares to head to college, he plans to continue chasing both steers and his dreams in the rodeo arena, while pursuing his education in the classroom. He hopes to compete at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo someday, but wants to return home and work on the family ranch at some point.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966


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