Moffat County High School junior Troy Vernon is bucked from a bull in the 2007 MCHS rodeo. The Bulldogs rodeo team competed in Eagle on Saturday and Sunday.

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Moffat County High School junior Troy Vernon is bucked from a bull in the 2007 MCHS rodeo. The Bulldogs rodeo team competed in Eagle on Saturday and Sunday.

'A little short-handed'

MCHS' Eric Fleming lone Bulldog to finish in the money

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— For seven consecutive weeks, the Moffat County High School rodeo team has been traveling Colorado in search of some competition.

Cortez, Golden, Fort Collins and Pueblo West are a few of the stops the team has saddled up in.

Saturday and Sunday, the team competed in Eagle, the closest rodeo the team has to Craig this spring rodeo season.

"We were a little short-handed," MCHS coach Jill Hegwer said. "We had a few kids miss their call-ins by like five minutes."

Such has been the case lately for the MCHS cowboys and cowgirls.

Hegwer said many of the team members missed the Pueblo rodeo two weeks ago because of prom, and much of the team had a late start because of Craig's weather.

"It's been tough on us this season," Hegwer said. "But the one constant we've had is Eric."

Junior Eric Fleming has been to more rodeos this season than any other Bulldog.

As a result, Fleming is leading the team in all-around points.

Fleming's third-place finish Saturday in boys steer wrestling, coupled with his fourth-place finish in bareback riding, earned him 15 points toward the season-ending state championships beginning June 11 in Lamar.

Fleming moved into 16th place in boys all-around with 118 points.

His work this weekend also earned him a $24 check.

The extra events Fleming is competing in this season have helped his point total, but Hegwer said the multiple events each week are beginning to take a toll.

"Eric is really getting beat up," Hegwer said. "You can see he's exhausted. He came off his horse in bareback and it looked like he had hit a wall.

"He walks now like he hurts."

Gabby Miller didn't hurt her point total this weekend. The sophomore joined Fleming and Hegwer in Eagle, placing 10th on Sunday in girls breakaway roping. Miller didn't earn any cash, but gained a point toward her all-around standings.

Miller moved into 72nd place with six points overall.

"Gabby had a good showing," Hegwer said. "As the season goes on, she's getting more confidence."

Junior Troy Vernon and his sister - sophomore Taylor Vernon - were the two Bulldogs that missed the event.

Taylor leads the MCHS cowgirls in all-around with 85 points, Troy is 32nd in boys all-around with 72 points.

The MCHS rodeo team has its lone break of the spring season this weekend.

The team competes May 24 to 26 in Monte Vista.

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