SHIPROCK — Shiprock's Tee Jim will continue roping through college.
Jim signed his National Letter of Intent to compete for the rodeo team at Lamar Community College on Friday at Shiprock High School.
The senior competes in the tie down roping and team roping events.
"I had to work hard just to get noticed," Jim said of the offer. "I did pretty good, and I went to some rodeos. I just wanted to do as well as I could to get into college."
Jim said he was fortunate get the chance to continue his rodeo career at the college in Lamar, Colo.
"I feel lucky. Not many opportunities like this come up, and I was able to grab one," he said. "I'm just going to keep trying and work hard."
Fred Sherwood, head coach of the rodeo program at Lamar Community College, said Jim's versatility drew the interest of the team's coaches.
"He's a multiple event cowboy. He can rope calves and team rope," Sherwood said. "He also said he had steer wrestled some and was willing to learn more there."
Sherwood said he's looking forward to getting Jim into his program and believes the young cowboy has a lot of room to grow in his events.
"He's been very successful, but the next level is about repetition," Sherwood said. "He'll rope every day, and you just get more competitive. He'll practice with guys that rope better than him and that will make him better."
Sherwood has spoken with Tee Jim's father, Jeffrey Jim, and believes that connection played an important role in Jim signing with the community college.
"His dad reached out to me a couple years back, and I've probably had more talks with his dad than him," Sherwood said. "His dad was comfortable with us and wanted him to compete in our region. Everything he'd heard and seen about Lamar made him feel like it was a good fit for his son."