ROBERTSDALE — As a child, Drew Clukey and his sister looked forward to the days when the Professional Cowboys Association Rodeo would come to town. Clukey remembers his mom taking them to the …
ROBERTSDALE — As a child, Drew Clukey and his sister looked forward to the days when the Professional Cowboys Association Rodeo would come to town.
Clukey remembers his mom taking them to the rodeo, where they would ride in the grand entry.
"Each year, I'd ask Bo Campbell if he would teach me how to steer wrestle," Clukey recalls. "And each year, he'd tell me to get in that arena, he'd tell me how to steer wrestle later. It's what I knew I wanted to do, but I was way too little at the time."
But, Clukey said, "Bo came around to me."
Now as a class of 2022 graduate from Robertsdale High School, Clukey signed to Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a rodeo scholarship in April.
His specialty? Steer wrestling.
Clukey began riding horses before he was four. He credits his mom for getting him into both riding and rodeoing. He knew from the first time he watched a live rodeo that he wanted to be part of it.
"I knew immediately," he said. "It was something about the atmosphere, the people competing. I just loved all of the events, the adrenaline rush, I love it. It's so much fun."
He participated in his first rodeo when he was in the third or fourth grade, he said. Since then, his list of accomplishments has grown.
Clukey has claimed the titles of 2020-2021 Professional Cowboy Association High School Champion, 2022 Hooey Junior Patriot Top 5 Finalist, 2020-2021 Professional Cowboy Association Top 10, 2021 Ote Berry Jr. World Steer Wrestling Championship Top 10, 2021 AHSRA All Around Champion Cowboy, 2021 AHSRA Steer Wrestling Champion, 2021 AHSRA Boy's Cutting Champion, 2021 AHSRA Light Rifle Champion, and 2021 AHSRA Trap Reserve Champion, just to name a few.
"In December, I made it to Las Vegas in the number seven spot in the world, and competed there," he said. "I did really well all the way until the final. But it was really fun, and I will be doing it again."
Outside of rodeoing, Clukey has many other interests and talents. He's been in the National Honors Society since his sophomore year, is a member of the RHS FFA, and is a member of Teen Age Republicans. He also enjoys art and was the Honeybee Festival Art Contest winner in recent years.
He enjoys carpentry work and building furniture. Clukey will be earning a business degree in college, and said he'd like to open his own workshop building custom furniture in the future.
At least, after rodeoing.
"I'm going to see where life takes me, but rodeo is my priority," said Clukey. "Junior year of college I'm going to get a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association card and hit the circuit and try to make the National Finals Rodeo. Try to make it professional in rodeo."
Clukey isn't only into competing when it comes to rodeo. He loves to promote and share the sport with others. He's always happy when he is able to take time volunteering to teach kids how to ride and steer wrestle. He said he's taught some kids who have never ridden a horse before, which can make lessons interesting.
Whether teaching newcomers tips and tricks, practicing at home or coming out of the gate on competition nights, Clukey is following his dreams.
"Rodeoing means everything to me," he said. "It's kept me out of trouble, it's put me in a good place in my life, and it's given me a career, I hope."