Soroco’s Eric Logan signs with Texas college for rodeo
March 3, 2016
Oak Creek — When Soroco High School senior Eric Logan moves to West Texas next fall, he admits he is going to miss the mountains and the snow. But he is chasing something he's been yearning for since he could put on his own cowboy boots, and that chase could have led him nowhere else.
"There is a lot of mesquite brush and oil wells. Not much to look at other than that, but it's big rodeo country," Logan said. "It ties into my lifestyle so much, since we ranch and raise cows. There is just something about it that's in my blood. I love it."
In Oak Creek on Thursday, Logan, a gifted multi-sport athlete for the Rams, signed his letter of intent to compete in rodeo at Odessa College in Texas. He will be attending the two-year college on a full scholarship.
Logan was first-team all-conference in football in the fall and recently led the boys' basketball team in points per game. And while he entertained the idea of playing collegiate football, that option never really stood a chance next to rodeo.
"We've pretty much known it all of our lives. It's where he was going," said Jeannie Jo Logan, Eric Logan's mother. "He's been very driven from a very, very young age with rodeo. We've always raised horses, and he's always been out there, before he could walk. When he was walking, he quickly became the boss of all of them."
Logan didn't get started in the rodeo world, competitively, until around age eight, when he joined the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. He entered the high school rodeo scene as a sophomore, and last summer, as a junior, he won the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association all-around championship, while his younger brother, Jace Logan, was the Colorado Junior High Rodeo Association champion.
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"It's fun to see him go to college and do what he loves and get an education as well," said family friend Chad Bedell. "It doesn't matter what endeavor you take up, you have to have a desire and a love and willingness to do it to advance at it. He has that."
Bedell, who sees himself as more as a "an excited older brother" to the Logan boys, is the ranch manager at Marabou Ranch outside Steamboat Springs and won a world championship in steer wrestling in 1996. He was among the first to give Eric Logan rodeo lessons after Mark Logan, Eric's father, asked for his help.
And that influence has rubbed off on Eric Logan in multiple ways.
"I get by on everything, but my favorite event is steer wrestling, which Chad has helped me out with. He got me started," Eric Logan said. "Just the challenge of it and the adrenaline rush is fun."
Logan looked at colleges in Wyoming and Colorado, but it wasn't until a recent trip to Odessa that he became hooked on its rodeo program. The Wranglers are led by coach Clint Aragon, who was a four-time region coach of the year and one-time national coach of the year while at Mesalands Community College in New Mexico. Combine a strong rodeo team with a school that has good academic programs that interest Logan — he wants to earn his associate's degree in agricultural sciences — and it became a no-brainer for the South Routt cowboy.
"At one time, we were really hoping he'd be closer to home for the first couple of years. But he's ready for this step," Mark Logan said. "I would say this is probably just a small step. He has a lot bigger aspirations. This is a way for him to take the next step."
Eric Logan has ideas of moving on to a four-year school after his time in Odessa and one day, returning to help run the family ranch near Yampa. But, before any of this happens, he wants to see how far his rodeo career can take him.
And, he thinks he could see both of his brothers follow in his footsteps. Jace Logan was Class 2A's state runner-up as a 145-pound freshman wrestler this winter, and Kody Logan is a seventh grader at Soroco Middle School. But like their older brother, the younger Logan boys have that same cowboy DNA in them they can't hide from.
"In our family, rodeo hangs over everybody. It's a little bit higher than all the other sports," Eric Logan said. "After college, I plan on trying to hit the pro rodeo circuit and eventually make it into the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) and become a world champion some day."
Eric Logan still has one more season of high school rodeo remaining, which begins in April.
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