Moffat County’s Garrett Uptain ready to ride for Wyoming college rodeo | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County’s Garrett Uptain ready to ride for Wyoming college rodeo

MCHS senior prepared to defend ranking as state’s top saddle bronc competitor

Garrett Uptain has had some wild times in the rodeo arena atop bucking horses and bulls, but now, the sport he loves will give him a different kind of ride — a full ride scholarship.

The Moffat County High School senior recently signed to compete as part of the Sheridan College rodeo team in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Joining the Generals this fall is an experience Uptain is looking forward to, as well as the academic opportunities the school will provide. He plans to enroll in the agriculture business program.

"They had everything I wanted in a school: smaller class size and the coaching is just great up there, great practice stock, so I think I can really do well," he said.

Sheridan coach Marc Gilkerson paid a visit to MCHS on Friday as his latest athlete officially committed to the college. He first got a look at his abilities through video and promotion from Uptain's older brother, Wyatt Uptain.

"He's a multiple event cowboy, and that's what you look for in college," Gilkerson said. "He's very competitive in bull and bronc riding."

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With a handful of riders leaving the Sheridan team soon, the time for new talent is ideal, he added.

"It should be a good team this year," Gilkerson said.

Though he's taken his share of lumps in rodeo, including a broken leg in fall 2014, Uptain has been one of the highest- ranked riders in the state, and is currently at the top of the list of Colorado's high school saddle bronc competitors, fourth in bull-riding and seventh in all-around points. He is working in wins at the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association finals.

Once the spring portion of the high school season begins in April, he'll be right back at it.

Parents Rick Uptain and Kim Moon were also present Friday to see their son take the next step to his future.

"I'm pretty excited for him," Rick Uptain said. "He's worked really hard to get where he's at, he's got a bright future and with the right coaching and right stock, I think he'll do good."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.