Pollok, Texas (KETK) – A Central High School senior is making a name for himself after winning the rodeo championship for a second year in a row.
At the high school region bull riding championships Matthew Wallace was in second place, only one point behind his friend and fellow competitor.
“I knew that if I didn’t ride my bull I wasn’t going to win at all so I just had to bear down and do what I had to do to cover my bull and didn’t quit until my head hit the ground,” Wallace said.
Eight seconds later, he is a back to back champion.
“It was just another rodeo, same old thing,” he said.
Most rodeo teens in East Texas were raised in it but Wallace had a much different start.
“It started when I was probably about four, I watch the movie Eight Seconds, with Lane Frost, and told my mom that I wanted to ride bulls,” Wallace said.
“I said no (chuckles) and it was no all the way up until…I thought he would outgrow it,” said Carmen Straps, Wallace’s mother.
But by his ninth birthday it was still the only thing he wanted.
Eventually they met the right people and he was formally introduced.
“The very first time he rode I closed my eyes, I couldn’t even watch it,” said Straps.
Wallace fell, got up, dusted himself off and wanted to ride again.
Never would he have thought he would be a back to back champion.
In 2018, when he was competing for his first championship, he had to ride without the support of someone who cheered him on from the beginning.
“My dad’s probably his biggest fan and he passed away last year so last year’s win was real big for us,” Straps said.
His “get back up” attitude is what makes him tougher than the rest, and what drives him to want more.
“I plan on going to the PRCA and I’m going to ride in the PRCA, for the first year, and try to get rookie of the year,” said Wallace.
All this before he even graduated high school.