An 11-year-old Mississippi bull rider is a rising star following in his grandfather’s footsteps
VIDALIA — Carl Williams Jr. stood anxiously Saturday behind the outfield wall at one of the Concordia Recrea on District 3 baseball fields watching his 11‐year‐old grandson’s travel team compete—but the Winnsboro native’s anxiety had nothing to do with the game.
“I’m actually here to pick him up. We’ve got a bull‐riding competition in Texarkana to get to,” Williams Jr. said. Williams Jr.’s grandson is the fourth of a long line of Carl Williamses. Carl Williams IV has been riding bulls since he was a little boy, his grandfather said.
“He’s been doing this for a long time,” Williams Jr. said as he showed a picture of his then 7‐year‐old grandson on the back of a bucking bull. Though Williams Jr. said he tried bull riding with his son, Carl Williams III, they realized not long after the sport was not for “Tre,” who would go on to excel at baseball.
But Williams IV, who his grandfather said is affectionately known as “Brother,” was a different story. At a young age, the boy took a natural interest in bull riding after learning of his grandfather’s past with the sport.
“He kind of just saw pictures of me doing it, and I said ‘OK, we’ll try it,” Williams Jr. said. “I didn’t think it was going to last this long to be honest with you.”
Williams Jr. said he jokingly made a deal with his grandson as they were starting out: “I’ll pay the entry fees and you get to keep the winnings.
“I was joking, but here I am still paying entry fees … and a banker once joked that (Williams IV) is the only 11‐year‐old he knows that needs to open up a CD.”
Williams Jr. said his grandson has been to competitions all over, including two in Las Vegas and even the Young Bull Riders World Finals in Abilene, Texas. Williams Jr. said “Brother” has earned a pretty penny in prize money, and even more to the 11‐year‐old’s credit, his grandfather said, Williams IV has kept that money in the bank.
“He’s a good kid. He’s just a really good kid,” Williams Jr. said. Williams IV also plays football in addition to his other athletic endeavors. But the young bull rider showed humility when it comes to his success at an early age.
“It feels just regular, I guess,” Williams IV said with a laugh. “There’s really not much to it.”
After Williams IV raced out following the baseball game, he hopped in his grandfather’s truck, still in full baseball attire, and the two raced off to Texarkana for another rodeo.