RODEO: Lucia lends his voice as announcer in return to Pecos

Coming to the West of the Pecos Rodeo has always been a special time for Anthony Lucia.

In 2017, he was competing at Buck Jackson Arena as a team roper.

Four years later, the Weatherford native is back in the Permian Basin in a different role.

Lucia is the announcer at the 2021 edition of the rodeo.

His announcing career has spanned a decade, he said that there’s plenty of extra emotion that comes with calling out the contestants at the home of the nation’s first rodeo.

“To have the opportunity to announce this rodeo that is just riddled with history and has literally worked to establish who and what rodeo is, I can’t even describe it,” Lucia said following Wednesday’s performance. “The crowd was phenomenal and the committee works so hard to make this rodeo happen in this community because of what it brings.”

Lucia added that it was an adrenaline rush when the rodeo committee reached out about announcing the four-day event.

Part of it came from the history of the rodeo and the other part came from getting a chance to follow in the steps of long-time rodeo announce Boyd Polhamus, who spent 12 years as the announcer for the annual rodeo.

Rodeo announcer Anthony Lucia prays before the start of the 2021 West of the Pecos Rodeo Wednesday evening in Pecos, Texas. (Eli Hartman|Odessa American)

“Boyd is one of my heroes and to be able to follow in his footsteps is one of the reasons I got emotional,” Lucia said. “God is good. That’s the only I can quantify it because he’s the captain of my ship and it steered me to Pecos.”

Lucia added that one of the biggest aspects of his job that he focuses on is preparation.

He wants to be able to shine a light on all the contestants competing and wrap it up in a way that fans can enjoy.

After his first night announcing, he said that he gained a new perspective being in an extended spotlight.

“The biggest difference is that I only had to work 14 seconds in 2017,” Lucia said. “For two and a half hours, every single one of those fans gets to step back in the old West and forget about all their trouble and anything going on in the world and just enjoy it and have fun.

“I’m glad I get to be a part of it.”

Lucia has been involved with rodeo since he was young, thanks in large part to his father Tommy, a well-known roper and performer.

He’s been across the state of Texas and the country competing and now announcing different rodeos.

As a native Texan, Lucia says it’s a point of personal pride to join the group of people who have been the voice of the West of the Pecos Rodeo.

“This rodeo I believe is one of the Top 40 rodeos in the entire world,” he said. “It’s in my home state and it’s the world’s first rodeo. I could go on about how awesome this is but I’m on cloud nine. I feel like I just won a world title.”

Lucia was also reflective following the first performance, saying it was one of the most active crowds he’s been a part of.

He added that he was looking forward to the crowds getting better and better over the rest of the weekend. It was a welcome change after the rodeo was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s very, very few places where you go to on a Wednesday night and find a crowd that as loud and active as this one,” he said. “We are all just so thankful to be able to gather together.”