Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

June 16, 2012

One tough Kid

Hulbert’s own Ryan Dirteater has overcome injuries and obstacles to be one of the world’s premier bull riders.

His injury report is longer than his list of career victories. He knows what it feels like to tear a tricep, fracture a femur, dismantle a knee.

Ryan Dirteater knows if he had pursued any other kind of athletic endeavor his career could be in peril. But that’s the beauty of bull riding; there’s always an opportunity for another ride.

“When I dislocated my knee, I tore my ACL, MCL, PCL; I pretty much tore up everything in my knee,” said the Hulbert native known as the “Cherokee Kid”. “If it were any other sport, I’d probably be done with. But bull riding is a little bit different.”

With the help of Dr. Tandy Freeman, Dirteater has persevered injury upon injury on the Professional Bull Riders Tour. And at the young age of 23, he continues to be one of the elite riders on the Built Ford Tough Series — otherwise known as the major leagues of PBR.

Dirteater admitted the injuries are tough to deal with, but overcoming the mental side of getting back on the bull is difficult, too.

“Mentally and physically, it’s tough going through an injury like that,” he said, talking about rehabilitating his knee. “It can really work on a guy, because in bull riding the risks are high and you always have that in the back of your mind.

“Bull riding is a mental sport. It’s more mental than physical.”

However, there is one obstacle that trumps them all, according to Dirteater.

“Just getting on a 2,000-pound animal,” he quipped.

“It’s a dangerous sport. It’s just eight seconds — of course, I say it’s only eight seconds. But really, you just want to get in there and just hang on.”

That’s what Dirteater dreamed about as a youngster. Then, not long after he received his diploma from Hulbert High School, he got his shot at the big time.

“I made my first PBR finals in ‘08, and I graduated from high school in ‘08, also,” said Dirteater, who competed in seven events in 2007, where he racked up 1,262 cup points, two top-10 finishes and one top-five performance.

Currently, Dirteater is 11th — out of 64 riders — in the Built Ford Tough Series this season. In 17 events, he’s ridden 20 bulls in 46 attempts to record 3,953.75 points, which is 4,263.25 points behind the current leader Valdiron de Oliveira.

“I hope I just keep climbing that ladder,” said Dirteater, who capped his 2011 season with 5,489.75 points to finish the year 15th.

Luckily for Dirteater, when the PBR Tour resumes from its current summer break, two of the next three stops will be in Oklahoma. The Express Classic will be at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Aug. 10-11 while the Winstar World Casino Invitational will be in Thackerville on Aug. 31.

“Seems like every time we’re at my home state I do really well,” Dirteater said. “I don’t know if it’s the fans or the atmosphere I’m in, but it just seems to help me ride a little bit more. I’ll have a bunch of friends and family there; it’ll seem like all of Cherokee County is there cheering me on.”

Other stops before the Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas from Oct. 24-28 include Nashville, Tenn., Springfield, Mo., San Antonio, Philadelphia, Tampa, Fla., Greensboro, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

“This is every kid’s dream,” Dirteater said. “Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, this is where I’ve wanted to be. Now, I’m there. You just have to keep working at it and not forget where you came from.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Lamons-main.jpg Tahlequah wrestler Hestin Lamons adds to memorable season with All-State triumph

    Hestin Lamons’ fitness regiment has been a grueling one this summer. It paid off in a big way at the All-State wrestling dual on Wednesday night.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Stocks