Tribal college freshman headed to national rodeo championships

Delvecchio Kaye competed in the Turqouise Circuit Finals Rodeo last October. Photo from TCFR

A freshman at Dine College in Arizona is headed to the College National Finals Rodeo next week.

Delvecchio Kaye, a member of the Navajo Nation, just completed his first semester at the college. The 22-year-old student is part of the school's rodeo team and will be competing in bareback riding at the upcoming championships in Wyoming.

“It’s good to see Delvecchio do well in school and in sports here at Diné College," Jackson Craig, the team's coach, said in a press release. "We always encourage student learning first and athlete second. The main goal for coaches here is to have our student athletes finish and graduate."

YouTube: Bareback Riding- Delvecchio Kaye in Las Cruces, N.M.- Turquoise Circuit Finals

Kaye, who ended the season with 2nd place in the Grand Canyon Regional standings and 16th in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association standings, won his first rodeo title at the young age of 16. For him, competing is a family affair -- his father was a bullrider and bronc rider and the pair still work closely together.

“We push each other to get better, even though we complete against each other,” Kaye said of the relationship with his father.

Delvecchio Kaye. Photo from Dine College

The college finals take place June 14-20 in Casper. Kaye hopes to bring some medals back to the Navajo Nation.

“I don’t know how many I’ve won, but I have lot of buckles at home," Kaye said.

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