Crowder's Braxton Thompson signs with Murray State rodeo

Mar. 15—Braxton Thompson is going to be taking in his college experience eight seconds at a time.

The Crowder senior signed his letter of intent to join Murray State College's rodeo team, and was honored with a celebration ceremony at the school earlier this month.

Thompson said he'd been participating in rodeo since he was five years old, and is a two-time Junior MBR National Champion bullrider in 2016 and 2017. He was quick to answer his favorite part from the moment he flies out of a chute.

"The adrenaline," he said.

And Thompson said he uses a steely mentality to prepare both mentally and physically for a ride.

"I stay focused, and get my mind where it needs to be," he said.

Thompson's life and hard work have led him to this point, and being able to continue his career has been a moment years in the making.

"It's very accomplishing, and a life-long dream," he said.

He's kept himself active throughout high school, also participating in baseball, basketball, and golf for the Demons.

And rodeo won't be the only sport Thompson will be pursuing in college either, as he has accepted a dual scholarship alongside the fishing team as well. He'll be busy in the classroom as well, studying for a physical therapy degree.

Thompson thanked the many people that have been by his side throughout his life, and supporting him as he chases his dreams.

"My parents, my brother, the rest of my family," he said. "And all of my friends."

And while he makes his life-long ambitions a reality, Thompson shared simple but sage advice for those kids that — like he himself all those years ago — will be embarking on their own journeys.

"Don't ever give up on your dreams," he said.