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Norwalk teen riding high in search of a career

By JOE CENTERS • Updated May 9, 2017 at 1:19 AM

Matt Rash went for the ride of his life.

Too many more rides like this one, however, and it may be the last one he takes.

Rash, 19, who is set to graduate May 28 from Norwalk High School, was competing over the weekend in Columbiana, Ohio, at a bull-riding event when he was bucked off the bull about 12 feet into the air.

“The bull was really welly, meaning he wanted to pull me down away from my hand,” said Rash. “He just scooped me up and flung me in the air.”

Rash, who was wearing a helmet, said his ankle was in pain and “my hip is a little sore.”

Thankfully he was wearing his helmet. “I like my teeth,” he said with a laugh and a big smile (with all of his teeth).

Rash, who completed all of his classwork in January, is hoping to make bull-riding his career. He wants to compete in Kentucky on Thursday and Pennsylvania on Saturday.

“Just been a dream since I was a little kid,” he said. “I heard about a ranch in Lodi, Ohio. They put on a bull-riding school. They taught me everything I needed to know.”

Rash, who is the son of Gary Austin-Rash of Huron and Kim Hite of Norwalk, has been competing since he was a freshman. His goal is to make this his career. 

What are his chances?

“It’s hard telling,” he said. “I’ve seen guys who are a lot further than me get close to there and just can’t do it.”

Is there money in the sport?

Rash said he placed second at an event and earned $912 for “eight seconds of work.”

Not a bad gig if you can get it — and survive.

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