By all accounts, Delvecchio Kaye (Navajo) is just like any other
first semester Diné College student, balancing his studies
and personal life. What sets this 22-year-old freshman apart from
his peers is that he is a rising star in the national collegiate
rodeo arena. Delvecchio, a member of the Diné College rodeo
team and first semester freshman, is headed to the College National
Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Bareback Riding, June 14-20 in Casper, Wyoming.
He ended his freshman season in second place in the Grand Canyon
regional standings, and 16th in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo
January is the first time he set foot on the Diné College
campus in Tsaile as a student, but it was not his first time at
the rodeo. Delvecchio grew up in a rodeo family; his father was
a bull rider and bronc rider. His early experiences in the arena
included mutton busting, junior bull riding and steer riding. Eventually
he found his event in bareback riding. When asked about his winnings,
he shyly chuckles, I dont know how many Ive won,
but I have lot of buckles at home. His humility is what keeps
Ultimately, his future goals include finishing his education
with a degree in Diné Studies and to qualify for the National
Finals rodeo. Being surrounded by strong supporters is one sure
way Delvecchio will achieve his goals. His father continues to coach
and support him, as do his friends, many of whom he completes against.
We push each other to get better, even though we compete against
each other, he says with a smile.
Both the Rodeo Team at Diné College and his coach, Jackson
Craig, have become a major source of support. Its good
to see Delvecchio do well in school and in sports here at Diné
College. We always encourage student learning first and [being an]
athlete second. The main goal for coaches here is to have our student
athletes finish and graduate.
Delvecchio hopes to continue to help build the team with his
involvement, I want to help recruit students to join the team.
And with Delvecchios recent placement in the CNFR, the Diné
College Rodeo Team is sure to turn the heads of many more potential
Native American and non-Native rodeo student-athletes.