Rodeo bumps and bruises bring rewards

Moffat County High School rodeo team has two weeks to rest before state competition

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The Moffat County High School rodeo team brought bumps, bruises and an all-around award home from the weekend's competition in La Junta.

Recent MCHS graduate Justin Hegwer won an all-around award for his combined saddle bronc, steer wrestling and team roping work at the three-day rodeo.

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Hegwer currently is the second-place bronc rider in the state, and he tied for fourth in steer wrestling.

"I don't know where we are in team roping -- we are not the best," he said with a smile.

Justin's sister Hanna competed in the breakaway but didn't accumulate any points.

Eric Fleming got bucked off a horse all three days and was uninjured.

"He got stepped on by a bull, and it broke his helmet," said Jill Hegwer, MCHS rodeo coach.

"It hit him right by the temple and took the tip of his ear off. He had an exciting weekend, but I think he is OK."

Coach Hegwer said all in all it was a good rodeo and the team did "pretty good."

Justin and Hanna Hegwer, Fleming, Troy and Taylor Vernon and Stevie Brumback will represent MCHS at the state finals June 20 to 24 in Golden.

Justin will try his hand at saddle bronc, steer wrestling and team roping; Hanna will compete in breakaway roping; Fleming in calf roping, team roping and bull riding; Troy Vernon rides bulls, does calf roping and team roping; Taylor Vernon does pole bending, breakaway roping, barrels, goat tying and team roping; and Brumback does barrels.

Barrels are when three barrels are set up in the arena in a triangle, and the cowboy or cowgirl must ride around each one a single time past an electronic eye.

Brumback also is vying for the 2007-08 rodeo queen, which will represent the entire state and will be decided during state competition.

"A lot goes into it," Jill Hegwer said.

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