Welding student holds on for eight to win truck and title

Welding student holds on for eight to win truck and title
Posted on 10/02/2017
This is the image for the news article titled Welding student holds on for eight to win truck and title Eight seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you’re sitting atop a 1,500 pound steer, it can be an eternity. That is unless your name is Matthew Palmer. Palmer hails from Chelsea, attends the welding program at Northeast Tech’s Pryor Campus, and was recently crowned the 2017 Bordertown Casino & Arena Bull Riding Champion.

“In March I heard they were giving away a truck at the finals, and I thought, ‘Aw heck yeah.’ Who doesn’t want to win a truck?” Palmer said, leaning against his new 2017 Chevy Colorado. “I get to keep it as long as I want, and when I picked it up on Monday, I found out I also get free service and tires after I buy the first set.”

After enjoying his new ride for a week, Palmer says the pain was definitely worth it in the long run.

“Even though I don’t have to pay for the truck, I feel like I paid for it with body damages. I got a few concussions – one of which I don’t even remember how I got out of the arena,” said Palmer. “Driving home one night, I also noticed my lower jaw was out of alignment, but it straightened out after a few days.”

Due to age restrictions, Palmer got a later start on collecting points for his rides, beginning almost a full three months behind some other riders. However, it didn’t take him long to begin building a winning record.

“At finals I had people calling me left and right. One guy paid me $500 to ride his bull,” Palmer said. “That one had me a little nervous. A guy in the PBR rode him for barely half a second, so I wasn’t too disappointed when I only stayed on him for three.”

Palmer’s long-term goals include riding on the professional circuit, and even though his rides now pay well, he acknowledges he’ll need a good amount to get started. That’s where his training at Northeast Tech comes in.

“Welding pays well. If I can get a good job welding during the week and then ride on the weekends, I feel like those go hand in hand,” Palmer said.

Palmer is finishing his second year in the welding program at Northeast Tech, and while he’s quick to brag on both the instructors and the facilities, he’s also honest enough to admit that, like bull riding, welding has its downside too.

“I don’t like the heat. When it’s hot in the shop, they can’t open the doors wide enough,” he said. “I enjoy learning the different procedures for different types of welding, and I like it that when I’ve been called on to help weld around the house, I know what I’m doing.”

Palmer is on track to graduate from Northeast Tech in May, and until then, he plans to keep practicing both of his passions.
“Bull riding and welding are alike in that you have to practice to boost your skills and confidence,” Palmer said. “I like meeting new people and experiencing new environments, and by working as a welder and continuing to ride bulls, I get to keep doing both.”
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