When World Champion bullrider Dustin Elliott signed on to coach the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Club in January he immediately began keeping an eye out for potential recruits for the team.
One especially promising recruit was Tyler Viers of Comstock. Viers, a recent graduate of Sargent High School, finished seventh in the nation in bull riding at the 2013 National High School Finals Rodeo Championship in Rock Springs, Wyo., on July 20.
Viers, son of Shane and Sandy Hickey and Jason and Cindy Viers, said he has been interested in riding bulls since he was a young child.
“My whole family is a rodeo family and my dad rode bulls when he was younger, so I kind of followed in his footsteps,” he said.
Viers began competing in junior rodeos when he was six, riding sheep and calves first and then gradually working up to riding bulls. He qualified for nationals as a sophomore and junior, but his performance wasn’t what he had hoped for. He fared far better this time around.
With his sights firmly set on a career in bull riding, it just made sense for him to attend North Platte Community College and learn about bull riding from a world champion.
“When Dustin contacted me about rodeoing at the college it sounded like a great opportunity,” Viers said. “At his rodeo clinics he doesn’t just teach how to ride bulls, but he talks about the business side of things too. He definitely seems like a guy I can learn a lot from.”
Viers said he plans to take classes in athletic training while attending NPCC.
“My career goal is winning the world in bull riding, but in case that doesn’t work out I will have the schooling to fall back on,” he said.
“Tyler came to some practices this spring and I could see a lot of natural ability in him,” Elliott said. “He has obviously been very successful at the high school level and I’m sure he’s going to be successful at the college level as well.”