The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Sports

April 28, 2010

Rodeo Insider: Adkins find nitch as rodeo announcer

PALESTINE — When the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series stops in various cities across the country on more than 30 weekends of the year, Clint Adkins serves as a co-announcer.

His career is a tale of making the big time after starting in humble beginnings.

Before he became an announcer, Adkins was a bareback rider who competed in open rodeos. However, he sustained a shoulder injury when a bronc flipped in the mid-1990s and went shopping for another career.

That’s when Adkins, who lives near Huntsville, began searching for his main purpose in life. He found it when he was visiting with a Cowboy Church minister named Ron Conatser.

Conatser, a longtime Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association judge who now raises bucking bulls, was holding regular buck-outs at his facilities in Trinity. Adkins would attend and ride bulls for fun. But one day, Conatser asked Adkins to announce the buck-outs.

“We pulled a speaker out of his church and I picked up a microphone,” Adkins said. “About three weeks later, one of the stock contractors who had been bringing bulls there hired me. He actually paid me for it. I began to have money in my pocket and I said to myself, ‘Wow, I might be able to make money at this.’”

It was apparent Adkins had talent.

“He just has that natural ability,” Conatser said. “He just handles himself in the right way and it’s really a blessing the way his career turned out.”

During the late 1990s, Adkins attended a PBR tour stop in San Antonio, where he had the opportunity to meet 1997 World Champion Michael Gaffney. It was one night that he will never forget.

“He made such an impression on me by spending time with me and making me feel so important,” Adkins said of Gaffney. “I was so impressed. I said to myself, ‘This is such a professional organization and maybe this is where I should put all of my focus on where I want to go.’ Though I had to learn through working many rodeos to learn how to announce effectively.

“I had to cut my teeth at amateur rodeos in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. But I made it my goal that night to work for the PBR.”

Adkins eventually was granted the opportunity to work on the PBR’s Touring Pro Division, the association’s farm league. That in turn helped him earn the notoriety he needed to move up to the Ford Series, the association’s top tour.

“It took me 10 years to do it,” Adkins said. “But I finally got it. I may have taken the long way around. I traveled a lot of miles and ended up burning up a lot of trucks and trailers.”

Adkins said he enjoys the PBR tour because the shows last only two or three days, which gives him the opportunity to spend more time at home with his family. Today, Adkins, 37, and his wife Jodi are raising two daughters, Riley, 9, and Emily, 5.

His advice to younger, up-and-coming announcers: Be very honest and fair.

“Tell the truth and don’t make anything up,” Adkins said. “I tell guys all of the time that I’ve never had a business card that said: ‘Call me.’ It’s always been by word of mouth. A person needs to be themselves, speak the truth and be fair to the fans and the bull riders.”

Adkins said an announcer must have a knack for relating to competitors.

“When I see guys struggling in the Touring Pro Division, I can understand what they’re going through,” he said. “I can understand the challenge of getting from event to event and the expenses involved. It’s almost like I never stopped riding.

“When people watch me announce, they notice that while I’m watching a guy ride a bull, I’m always moving. I just do that because I’m trying to ride the bull for them.”

Text Only
Sports
  • HUNTSVILLE BASEBALL — Hornets upset Brenham in final road game

    All of a sudden, the Huntsville baseball team is on a roll. The Hornets figure it’s better late than never.
    Since getting off to a rough 1-10 start in district play this season, Huntsville has rattled off three wins in its last four games and two in a row after Tuesday night’s 7-4 road victory against district leader Brenham.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-shsu-golfer-Zach-Cabra.jpg SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE GOLF — Bearkats lead by 10 shots going into final round of men's championships

    Led by junior Zach Cabra and senior Albert Miner, Sam Houston State held off a charge by Stephen F. Austin to take a 10-stroke lead into today’s final 18 holes at the 2014 Southland Conference Men’s Golf Championship.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-schultz.jpg NEW WAVERLY SOFTBALL — Lady Dogs ready for playoff game against Blooming Grove on Thursday

    With the Lady Bulldogs in the playoffs for the fourth straight season, this year’s team has high expectations going into the post-season.The latest pursuit begins Thursday for the Lady Dogs, facing Blooming Grove of District 23-2A at Madisonville High School in the opening round. Thursday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Game 2 is slated for Friday at 6 p.m. If necessary, the Lady Dogs and Lady Lions will play a third and deciding game following Friday’s tilt.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SHSU BASEBALL — Bearkats take down No. 12 Houston

    The Bearkats manufactured a run in the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie and beat No. 12 Houston 5-4 on Tuesday at Cougar Field. Designated hitter Hayden Simerly scored the first and final runs of the game, the last on a sacrifice fly after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-22-coach-oliphant-2011-playoffs.jpg Huntsville hires Jay Oliphant as new boys basketball coach

    Huntsville hired a new head coach for the boys basketball team and didn’t have to search very far to find him.
    Jay Oliphant is well-known around these parts. After spending the last five seasons as the girls basketball coach, Oliphant will take over a boys program that missed the playoffs in 2013-14 for the first time in the last six seasons.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22-chaz.jpg NEW WAVERLY BASEBALL — Bulldogs jump on Onalaska early, cruises to 10-1 victory in finale

    The Bulldogs are back.
    After a year away from the Class 2A baseball playoff picture, New Waverly’s team has returned to form and perhaps even better than before.
    The Bulldogs finished the regular season strong with a dominant 10-1 victory over Onalaska on Monday night.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • HUNTSVILLE BOYS BASKETBALL — Jay Oliphant to be named new Hornets head coach

    Former Huntsville basketball standout Jay Oliphant is the new head coach for the boys team, The Item learned Monday morning.

    April 21, 2014

  • 4-20-Cally-Belcher-2.jpg Cally Belcher's death was a tragedy ahead of its time

    As a defensive back for the Huntsville Hornets from 1987-89, Cally Belcher was an intimidating tackler during a time in football when hitting was one of the more glamorous elements of the sport.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-20-Castillo.jpg SHSU SOFTBALL — Bearkats rally to defeat Abilene Christian 7-4 in series finale

    Once again, the Bearkats found themselves trailing 2-0 to Abilene Christian after committing three errors that led to the two runs.
    A clutch two-out, two-run single by first baseman Sarah Allison in the bottom of the first, a five-run explosion in the bottom of the fifth inning and a great pitching performance by starter Shelby Lancaster, led to  Sam Houston State’s 7-4 victory over the Wildcats to win the series.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SHSU BASEBALL — Bearkats drop finale, series to Lamar

    The Sam Houston baseball team was unable to get the timely hits when it really mattered, late in the game down by just one run. As a result, the Bearkats lost to Lamar 6-5 in the rubber match of the series on Saturday in Beaumont.  
    The series loss to the Cardinals was the third occurrence in conference play this season. The Bearkats (10-8 in Southland Conference, 26-14 overall) look to rebound against nationally ranked Houston on Tuesday on the road.

    April 19, 2014

Photos


House Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide