Congratulations to the Whatakid of the month, Jack Griffin! This seventeen-year-old senior competes in team roping and calf roping. “The reason I like to rope is because of the adrenaline rush. Everything just happens so fast,” Jack said.
Jack rides two different horses that he has for about two and half years. Mate, his calf horse, is very smart and social. He knows how to untie knots and let himself out of his pen. “Just the other day Mate undid the latch and got into the feed room. He does a lot of mischievous stuff like that,” Jack explained. His other horse, BJ, is his heading horse. Jack described BJ as very skittish but always “right on the muscle.”
Jack has been a part of rodeo ever since he was eleven years old. Rodeo has brought him some of his best friends as well.
“My favorite competition was state last years at Abilene. I barely missed nationals and finished 5th. However, I had a lot of fun because state is my favorite place to go,” Jack said. He has competed at state all three years of high school and plans to be back again.
The funniest rodeo moment Jack remembers is when he “fell out of a golf cart at a rodeo in Gonzales. I had sticks all in my hair. My friends wont let me live that one down.” Jack stood up laughing alongside his friends. The fall just scraped him up a bit and he went on to compete later that day.
Rodeo isn’t the only activity Jack competes in. He also is a member of the football team and FFA at Eldorado High School. In fact, he was named all West Texas defensive linemen. At his school, he is also class president as well as student council president. He takes his academics very seriously and even claimed a medal in social studies at the UIL academic meet. Jack also enjoys spending his limited free time hunting, fishing and skiing. “There is nothing I really enjoy more than the other. I like to mix it up and do a little bit of everything,” Jack said.
Jack tries his best to keep a positive attitude. He constantly tells himself to “always look on the brightside” and would count this phrase as his life motto. “It always comes to me. When stuff gets hard at school, especially during football season because I am swamped with a lot of stuff, I just remember to look on the brightside and push through,” Jack explained.
Clint Griffin, Jack’s dad, is someone Jack admires and really looks up to. Clint was raised in a poor family but was able to do well enough in school to earn his law degree and make a really good life for his wife and kids. “He really inspires me to use what I have and go do more with it,” Jack said.
He also went on to explain how his friends are a constant inspiration for him; “Our school is in a pretty poor part of town. A lot of my friends live in bad situations and they are still showing up to school everyday with a smile on their face. They just work so hard. I have friends who have pretty much raised their entire family while also working hard enough to completely pay for college. These guys inspire me so much. They are some of the greatest people to be around.”
In the future, Jack plans to attend either the University of Texas or Texas A&M and pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Jack does not know if he will continue to rodeo in college because his schooling is his first priority. “I really enjoy rodeo and I think it’s a great hobby to have but it is not going to be my central focus,” Jack explained.
“I know I have been given way more than I could ever ask for. My parents are always there and I know they are going to be there. A lot of kids don’t have that,” Jack said.
Jack is extremely grateful for everything he has been given and is honored to be this months Whatakid!