With the school year wrapped up an done, high school rodeo athletes are also wrapping up their seasons, but one local bareback rider is continuing his season as he finished the year as a state champion.

Clint Mayo, an 18-year-old Weatherford High School graduate, concluded a fantastic senior year by claiming the title of Texas state champion in bareback bronc riding.

“It felt good, it felt really good to win. I was just excited to be able to compete for the title,” Mayo said about his accomplishment. “This was my first time to win a state championship and it meant a lot to me to be able to capture that.”

With the state title his, Mayo has now shifted his focus onto the National High School Finals Rodeo which will be held in Gillette, Wyoming from July 17-July 23.

“There’s people there from states like Maine,” said Mayo about how many competitors he’ll be up against. “It’s an interesting competition. People are there from Australia, Canada and it’s cool to meet everyone from all over the country and the world. The competition is going to be tough, but I’ll definitely step up my game for it. I’m feeling good about this year.”

While in Gillette, Mayo will be a part of a rodeo that will feature more than 1,650 contestants from 43 different states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The event is known for being the largest single rodeo in the world.

The story of how Mayo began in rodeo is also one that may not be the norm in high profile rodeo athletes.

A lot begin at a young age, some as young as 3-years-old, but Clint didn’t get serious about bareback riding until somewhat recently.

“My dad was a professional for a long time and he quit in 2003. I wasn’t sure for awhile if it was something that I wanted to, but eventually I tried it out and I had some success and just kept going at it and now I’m here.”

‘Here’ being the region 3 bareback champion who may have one of the brightest futures in the sport.

As of now, Mayo isn’t getting too far ahead of himself and still plans on taking things slow and attending college next year.

“I’ll be going to Sam Houston State (University) in Huntsville for school,” he said. “They have a rodeo team there and I’ll be doing that and competing in PRCA rodeos. I’m looking forward to it.”

Achieving what he has in his young career hasn’t been something that Clint has overlooked. He’s taken the time to review what he’s accomplished thus far and has also set out expectations for what he wants to accomplish in the future.

“It means a lot for me to be where I am today, my grandpa, uncle and dad all were in rodeo. My great uncle is a two-time world champion in bareback riding and my grandpa made the finals, it’s awesome to bring that legacy in a different generation,” he said. “And yes, I plan on doing this for a long time. I want to rodeo until I can’t any more. I want to be a world champion in bareback riding and I want to win the American.”

The Saturday championship performance at this year’s NHSFR will be televised on RFD-TV and also online at NHSRATV.com at 7 p.m. on July 17.