CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - A Conway High School junior shares his bull riding experience that gained him a Student Spotlight nomination.
“I like the adrenaline it has and I just always wanted to do it," Antonio Rivera said. “Ever since I saw my first rodeo I just went home and started watching videos and once I got the chance, I just took it.”
Rivera said he took the chance at a rodeo in Loris over the summer. What started out as an English writing project on the dangers of bull riding sparked his interest on getting on a bull himself to help with the assignment.
“It was crazy, honestly. It was crazy because the dude before me got hurt real bad, so I was like, ‘Oh dang,”’ Rivera said. “You could get chest problems or something to your head. I mean anything can get broken.”
Thankfully, Rivera wore a protective vest and did not get hurt during his first ride.
“When I got on I was like, ‘Oh wow,’ and then I jumped up and said, ‘This is it,’ and then the gate opened," he said.
Rivera is also a three-sport athlete at school, taking part in cross country, soccer and wrestling. It’s the latter he said he enjoys the most and in order to do so, he must keep up his grades.
“My wrestling coach said if we don’t do good, he’ll tell us to go to practice, but all we would do is homework and then get our grades up,” Rivera said.
It’s a balancing act for Rivera.
“So I go to practice, then go to work and then after I go home, shower and do my homework, and then do it all over again,” he said.
Rivera is hoping to take region champs or go to state for wrestling this year. As for that first bull ride in Loris, it wasn’t enough. He said he wants to try it out professionally one day.