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Four Valley high-schoolers participating in chsra

January 18, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

For 11 years Dillon Foster has worked his way up the ranks of the area's rodeo circuit and has become an accomplished high school rodeo competitor.

But he's not like the typical rodeo competitor, or cowboy. No, what Foster considers himself is a "New Age cowboy."

Foster doesn't dress like a traditional cowboy, doesn't listen to the same music as a traditional cowboy and basically doesn't do everything "the cowboy way."

"There are stereotypes about cowboys, but I'm not like a prototypical cowboy. I'm a lot different from everyone else," said the 18-year-old Foster of Imperial. "For me there's two sides to this. I mean, I can go out and be with my friends and people look at me and they don't think I'm a cowboy, just because of the way I dress or what I listen to.


"And when I go out to practice, I just go out wearing sweats and a beanie and all those other guys look at me like I don't take it seriously," said Foster, who competes in calf roping and team roping events. "But it's like flip mode when I'm out there. I may not look like a real cowboy, but I know that I am."

He's actually a pretty good cowboy. A competitor in the California High School Rodeo Association, Foster has competed in the state finals three years in a row, has won two District 8 titles for Southern California and was named to the Wrangler all-star team the past two years.

While the CHSRA isn't connected to CIF, it does set a 2.0 grade-point average guideline for high school competitors. And with his 3.5 GPA, Foster is not only a winner in rodeo arenas but in the classroom.

With the CHSRA providing scholarships to its participants, Foster said he might use that route to get into college, where he'd continue to compete on the collegiate rodeo circuits and maybe one day take his talents to the professional ranks.

"I have two uncles, Charles Pogue and Brett Beach, who went pro and my dad also came up through the ranks and almost made it pro," said Foster. "So that's something I might consider. I know that it's there and I know I could do it if I wanted. It'd just be a matter of me deciding that I did want to go pro."

For now, Foster and some other local CHSRAers will be setting their sites on the association's January rodeo on Saturday and Sunday at the Cattle Call Arena in Brawley.

"I'm just going to go out and try to show what I've got. That's what I always do when I compete," said Foster. "You know, there's a lot of people out there who really don't respect this as a sport, but it is definitely a sport.

"I think that it's because people really don't know much about it. But if they go out and see it, they'll realize how much of a sport it really is," Foster said. "There's people that consider this the most dangerous sport ever, and it is."

Also competing in this weekend's rodeo will be Cory Archibeck of Imperial, Beth Johnson of El Centro and Julie Johnson of Brawley.

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