Spotlight on Winnett

Bucking the trend: Winnett senior big in rodeo bronc riding
By Deb Hill
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
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When not on the rodeo circuit, Caden works cows.

Photos courtesy of Caden McCarthy

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Caden hangs on for a good ride in the ranch bronc class.

A senior’s year is pretty full, and Winnett’s Caden McCarthy’s is no exception. However Caden’s goals might be a bit different than the average senior – he’s looking forward to graduation so he can take a gap year and try his luck at rodeoing.

Caden, who said he takes after his dad in this, is a saddle bronc and ranch bronc rider, and is doing pretty well.

“I just won a saddle at a rodeo in Golden, Colorado this summer,” Caden said. “I scored an 82 on a horse named Bronc.”

The Golden rodeo was part of a 10-rodeo series, out of which Caden rode in nine. Bronc riding is pretty physical, sometimes even a bit dangerous. Is Caden at all worried about getting injured?

“Not so much,” he said, and explained, “If you stay on, you usually don’t get injured. I try pretty hard to stay on.”

That does seem to be the goal of the thing, doesn’t it?

Caden said he plans to rodeo all summer and into the fall next year, and will see if he can “make something of it.”

If not, it’s off to college to study ag economics.

Meanwhile, Caden has his senior year stretching ahead of him, which means, at least for now, football. Caden plays quarterback for the Grass Range-Winnett Rangers.

“I’ve been playing football since sixth grade,” Caden said.

All those years of practice must pay off, as his team played DGS (Denton-Geyser-Stanford) on Saturday and beat them, 38-0.

Academics for the year include science, calculus, English and social studies. Caden said he doesn’t really have a favorite in that lineup, unless you count weightlifting in physical education class.

Caden arrived at Winnett High School in his freshman year. He started school in Idaho, then spent his seventh and eighth grade years at Grass Range school. In part the family’s moves followed his dad’s work on various ranches.

Caden’s dad is ranch hand Shane McCarthy and his mother, Jana, works at the school. Caden has two older brothers and an older sister.

His family also includes three horses: a buckskin called Buckwheat, a sorrel named Sunny and a sorrel colt named Clancy. Caden said he does some work as a cowman to help buy feed for his horses.

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