While most Moffat County High School students are enjoying the summer freedom, the Bulldog rodeo team is logging its fair share of miles.
"We are on the road a lot," MCHS coach Jill Hegwer said.
After competing at the Eagle Rodeo on May 12 and 13, the high school cowboys and cowgirls head to La Junta today for weekend rodeo action at Rocky Ford High School.
Hegwer said it takes about nine hours of driving to reach the southeast corner of the state.
"We have to be there Thursday so we are ready to rodeo first thing Friday morning," she said. "Entry fees could be about $200, and then you have 8 seconds to find glory."
The MCHS rodeo team has four seniors who recently graduated -- Justin Hegwer, Clay Foulk, Katie Foulk and Jaguar Terrill.
Completing the roster are senior-to-be Stevie Brumback, juniors Troy Vernon and Hanna Hegwer and sophomores Taylor Vernon, Jessica Moser and Gabby Miller.
Justin Hegwer, currently the state's top-ranked steer wrestler and No. 3 in saddle bronc, is headed to Oklahoma Panhandle State University in the fall.
"The rodeo coach saw me at the high school finals last year and he told me to take a look at the school," Justin said.
OPSU, in Goodwell, Okla., will pay $500 per semester to assist Justin on a rodeo scholarship, and he also received an academic scholarship.
High school rodeo is not sanctioned by the Colorado High School Activities Association, CHSAA, and consequently has different requirements.
For example, whoever wants to, can go to the state rodeo finals, and then the top four qualify for the high school national finals.
"I went last year and ended up 50th in the world in bronc riding," Justin said of the national finals.
Colorado high school rodeo results are listed at cshsra.org.