Clay Tryan wants you to know he’s not “one of them.”
“I don’t yell at the umpires,’’ he said.
Tryan’s been home in Lipan, Texas, lately, hanging around Little League parks instead of rodeo arenas, watching sons Tyler and Braylon playing a little baseball.
“I might get on the kids a little bit,’’ he continued with a chuckle. “But I don’t get caught up in yelling at the umpires. I’m not that guy.
“All I want is focus and hustle. Do your best and I’m OK.”
And Dad is more than OK that his sons like to swing a rope when not swinging a bat.
“The older one (Tyler), he loves roping more than any kid I know,’’ said a proud Tryan, who turned 34 on May 7. “He loves it more than I did when I was his age.”
Tryan recently returned home after a good run at Guymon, Okla., where he and new partner Jade Corkill won $4,412.
The money puts Tryan fourth in the world team roping heading standings, less than $6,300 out of first place, before the whirlwind of the summer season.
“The season has been OK. Things are starting to pick up,’’ he said. “Jade and I are off to a good start together.”
Tryan and Travis Graves parted ways in March. The two had rope three years together — an eternity in team roping — and twice finished second in the world standings. Tryan earned $510,175 with Graves, including $155,576 at three National Finals Rodeos.
“It was a mutual deal,’’ said Tryan, an 11-time NFR qualifier and who has won more than $1.5 million dollars since turning pro in 1998. “We were second twice and it came down to the final steer (for a world title) all three years. It worked out best for us.
“I expect to be battling Travis for a world title this year.”
Corkill, of Fallon, Nev., is the reigning world team roping heeler champion. He was scheduled to rope with two-time world champion Chad Masters this year, but Masters suffered a major knee injury in early March while steer wrestling at the World Timed Event Championships in Guthrie, Okla. Masters is expect to be out until November.
“It’s a pretty small circle,’’ said Tryan of finding another quality team roping partner. “Jade’s a great roper. He’s a world champion, one of the best. He’s proven himself. We talked about roping together sometime in our career. The timing worked out.”
They plan to rope together the rest of the year. “That’s the plan,’’ Tryan added.
“We want to win a world championship.”
Which means taking the most out of the hot-weather rodeo arenas.
“Summer is my favorite rodeo time of the year,’’ Tryan said. “It’s warm out, you see some great country traveling and you can rope almost every day for big money.
“The key is you want to be higher in the world standings and make a run for the title at the NFR.”
And on the road, basketball will replace baseball for Tryan family.
“If we have a day off, we try to find a gym and play some basketball,’’ he said of himself and fellow team ropers. “Now the boys are old enough to come to the gym with me. We’ll have some fun.”