By Ferran Lucero
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a periodical series about former athletes from the surrounding area.
Roping has taken a back seat to singing for former Eastern New Mexico University team roper Marshall “Ky” Atwood.
The co-founder of a country band called Marshall Lane, Atwood is pursing his dream of “living and playing music in Austin, Texas.”
Atwood, who graduated from ENMU in 2003 with an agriculture degree, sings and plays guitar for the band, which mostly covers songs from Texas country artists Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue and Pat Green.
He also wrote and co-wrote material the band plays on its weekend gigs.
During the week, the Roswell native works as an admissions counselor at the New Mexico Military Institute, which keeps him busy and on the road talking to high school students who may be interested in attending the junior college or the military school.
During his senior season in 2001-2002 rodeo, he teamed up with freshman James Gilliland of Tularosa and qualified for the College National Finals rodeo in Casper, Wyo.
ENMU rodeo coach David Browder said Atwood brought “leadership and a good work ethic” to the team.
Atwood also attended Odessa Junior College, where he roped his way into the Southwest Regions Top 10 standings both seasons.
Atwood said his time at the university “was a good experience” and that he “met a lot of good people along the way.”
As far as team roping goes, Atwood has not completely dropped the sport. When he has time, he will go to a friend’s house and rope.