Bull riding runs in the family for Princeton native, Colton Dorweiler as both his father and grandfather had their hands on the rodeo sport.
Starting just a few year ago, Dorweiler felt the attraction to the sport from the family connection. “I started about three years ago, I got into it because my dad did it and my grandpa did it. It’s just been in the family for a while,” said the soon to be freshman at Princeton High School.
With that family pedigree, Dorweiler was able to draw on the resources around him and buck to a 2021 Junior High Bull Riding State Champion in Fergus Falls back on May 29. With the state championship under his belt, Dorweiler will now advance to the National Junior High Rodeo Finals, held in Des Moines, Iowa.
Though having the success that Dorweiler has already, it wasn’t always a forgone conclusion that Dorweiler would become a bull rider like his father and grandfather.
It took Dorweiler’s own decision to join the sport that prompted the start of his career according to Colton’s father, Rowdy Dorweiler. “Just like my dad, we never pushed Colton to even give it a shot,” said Rowdy Dorweiler. “It’s not a sport that you want to encourage people to do unless they want to do it themselves given the dangerous nature of the sport.”
After approaching his dad, himself, Colton Dorweiler was set to begin. Soon thereafter, Dorweiler was all in on the sport. “Within the first couple bulls he got on, he was hooked,” said Rowdy Dorweiler.
From that point, Colton Dorweiler began his training to become a full-fledged bull rider.
Drawing help from training tools, such as a drop barrel that helps mimic some of the motions a bull will do, Dorweiler strived to get better.
Along for every step of the way, was his father according to Dorweiler. “My dad has been along with me this entire time. He’s been the one that been helping me get better,” he said.
Breaking from the pack
So far into the young Dorweiler’s career, he has found great success at the junior high level.
As for what sets Colton apart from the pack is two things according to Rowdy Dorweiler; his toughness and his mental preparation. “He’s tough as nails and he tries hard mentally too to be prepared for it,” he said.
Colton’s toughness and mental preparation also come up big for the other sport Dorweiler plays in hockey.
As a goalie in the Princeton Youth Hockey Association, Dorweiler doesn’t flinch at the prospects of taking pucks to the body. “If you can get on a bull, you’re probably not going to be too scared of a frozen piece of rubber coming at you,” said Rowdy Dorweiler.
Support from family
Sometimes Dorweiler’s choice of sports does come back to haunt Colton as broken bones have happened to the young rider.
Even with all of the training, Dorweiler will sometimes get unlucky and get put into tough positions causing stress for both parents Rowdy and Shannon Dorweiler. “It’s nerve racking watching, especially if he gets hung up,” said Shannon Dorweiler.
Despite the anxiousness riding the bull may cause for the parents, both fully support their son’s choice to ride. “You have to let them try their interests, you never know where they are going to develop, flourish and succeed,” said Shannon Dorweiler.
As Colton Dorweiler continues advance into his bull riding career, he hopes that he can keep improving as he enters into the high school level of competition.
Before that happens, Dorweiler has a goal to accomplish; Become a National Champion.
In order for that to happen, Dorweiler has to remained focused on only what he can influence. “I can’t control what everybody else does, I can only control what I do,” he said.
If Colton is able to remain focused, Rowdy Dorweiler believes the goal of champion is within reach for his son. “He’s got a shot at doing it. In my opinion, he’s got the ability to ride any bull they will have there, it will just be matter if he is prepared to go down there and do it.”
The National Junior High Rodeo Finals began on June 20.