Miss-Lou cowboy is ready for rodeo

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 13, 2013

Famed country and western singer Willie Nelson enjoyed immeasurable success with the song, “Mamma, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”

It’s a great song, however the lyrics are debatable. Fact is, mammas have little if any control when it comes to their babies becoming cowboys.

Case in Point: Cyrus VanCharles Marsaw’s interest was piqued when he saw the older cowboys practicing their calf-roping skills.

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“That’s when I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he said.

When asked who was most influential in training him, he acknowledges the expertise of William Blanton, Jeremy Johnson, James Berry III and Travis Blanton. As a result of mutual hard work, 14-year-old Cyrus has been selected to be a participant in the 12th annual Rising Star Calf-Roping Rodeo Thanksgiving weekend in Duncan, Okla.

This event will feature 50 of the best calf-ropers under the age of 15.

To offset some of the expenses, family and friends will be hosting a “Doing it With Your Boots On” fun day starting at 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at Providence Park on River Terminal Road. There will be lots of great food, including barbecue ribs and chicken, fried catfish, hamburgers and hotdogs. Kids can get their face painted, enjoy the hayrides and rock the box.

Wait, there’s more. For only $5, you can purchase a raffle ticket that allows you a chance to win a sleek new lap-top computer. With Christmas fast approaching, it’s a great gift idea.

At first glance, competing in a national rodeo would appear daunting for someone so young. But a steely confidence emanates from Cyrus’ quiet demeanor.

“It’s my competitive nature,” he said. “If I don’t win, I think of all the things that I did wrong and try harder the next time.”

His most recent win included the presentation of the coveted embossed belt buckle at the 58th Annual Jr. Breakaway Rodeo. And of course there’s Soldier, who’s described as the “winningest horse.”

Soldier was a surprise gift from his friend, Marque “Cooder” Terrell.

Cyrus was given strict instructions that only he was to ride the horse.

They’ve proven to be a formidable pair, winning 60 percent of their competitions. Unfortunately, Maurice never realized the providence of that gesture. He suffered a fatal injury that same night.

A village raising a child is exemplified by the support from the Providence community as they rally to support a kid that wants to be a cowboy.

His father, Carl Marsaw, is to be commended for his steadfastness. His mom, Jency Lyles Marsaw, has opted to home school. This affords Cyrus the opportunity to satisfy academic requirements, yet maintain the rigors of training and care of a thousand-pound animal.

Everyone is invited to come join the fun. The weather has cooled down so it’ll be a great day for a family outing. Any person or organizations that would like to donate or sponsor, please call Jency at 601-442-6814 or myself at 601-445-4768


Diane Prater-Smith is a Natchez resident.