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Parkview Baptist teen preps for national rodeo

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BATON ROUGE - A local teen is making national headlines for a talent not everyone can master.

A lot of kids play soccer, some take up dancing, a few even find a passion in cooking. But 14-year-old Wyatt Beck has picked up a pastime that's a little more adventurous.

"Most of them say, 'Isn't that dangerous?' I just tell 'em I could get hurt walking down the street," Beck told WBRZ. "I do junior bull riding, I do chute dogging, saddle steer riding, and bareback steer riding."

The Parkview Baptist 9th grader will be competing in his second National Junior High Finals Rodeo as a part of Team Mississippi later this month. He took home second place in bull riding last year. He says it's a thrill that never gets old.

"Before I get on a bull, I get a little nervous sometimes. Once I get in there, once I get on him, you don't feel anything."

Rodeos are a family affair for the Becks. It started with Wyatt's dad, then his two older sisters--who have been to their fair share of competitions.

Wyatt credits the sport for building the relationship with his father. His mother, on the other hand, still gets a little nervous every time he saddles up.
 
"Me and [my dad] have had a lot of good memories since rodeos started together," Wyatt said. "My mom, I've scared her a few times."

Even with football and baseball taking up a lot of his time this summer, Wyatt still manages to head out to the barn and practice.

"I try to get in here every day for at least 30 minutes to an hour."

And while racking up championship saddles is nice, it isn't easy. For each and every ride, Wyatt has three keys to beating the bull: "You gotta have a lot of effort, gotta have a good attitude, and you just always have to practice."

Wyatt and his family will head to Huron, South Dakota this week for the competition. His first event is June 24.

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