Four area students who belong to the Louisiana Junior High School Rodeo Association have qualified for the 11th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo on June 21-27 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Ashley Austin, Zeb Corkern, Grant Foster and Koby Sanchez finished in the top four of their rodeo events after competing against contestants throughout Louisiana.
Ashley, who qualified in barrel racing, attends Silliman Institute in Clinton but lives in Zachary.
Zeb qualified in team roping with his partner, Britt Buller, of Kinder. Zeb attends Northwestern Middle School and lives in Zachary.
Grant, a homeschooled student who lives in Ethel, qualified in team roping with his partner, Koby, also of Ethel.
Koby, a Silliman student, qualified in chute dogging and team roping with Grant.
“These four students are very dedicated to the sport of rodeo, which they love,” said Rashan Sanchez, Koby’s mother, on behalf of the youths’ parents. “They have spent many hours throughout the year traveling and competing against other students from all over Louisiana. It’s an honor to finish as the top four in the state and to represent Louisiana at the finals. We’re so proud of them.”
A West Feliciana Middle School student, Callie DeLee, 12, of St. Francisville, who belongs to the Mississippi Junior High School Rodeo Association, placed fourth in Mississippi in girls breakaway roping and will be competing in Des Moines along with the Ethel and Zachary students.
Roughly 1,000 contestants from 42 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia will compete in the world’s largest junior high rodeo, according to a news release.
In addition to competing against other top-four qualifiers from each state, Ashley, Callie, Grant, Koby and Zeb hope to each earn more than $75,000 in prizes, more than $100,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named a Junior High Finals national champion.
To earn the title, contestants must finish in the top 20 based on their combined times and scores in the first two rounds to advance to the final round. National champions will be determined based on their three-round combined times/scores.
Also while at the rodeo finals, contestants will have an opportunity to participate in shooting sports, tug of war, volleyball, contestant dances, church services sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, family-oriented activities, shopping at the trade show and visiting area attractions, the release said.
Other area qualifiers from Louisiana included Chase Borres, of Central, calf roping and boys goat tying; Kamryn Duncan, of Live Oak, breakaway roping, girls goat tying and team roping; and Garrett Frey, of New Roads, team roping.
Championship performances on June 27 will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch High School Rodeo tour on RFD-TV, and live broadcasts of each performance will air online at NHSRATV.com.
To follow the East Feliciana and Zachary residents, visit NHSRA.org daily for complete results.