Rodeo gearing up for state |

Rodeo gearing up for state

Moffat County High School rodeo team to host state finals

Ben Bulkeley

Taylor Vernon, a Moffat County High School senior, will be counted on to lead the rodeo team this spring. Moffat County will serve as the host site for the rodeo state finals in June, and the MCHS squad is hoping to qualify as many team members as it can for the event.

Although the names won't change, there is something new in store for the Moffat County High School rodeo team.

Craig will play host to the rodeo state finals in June, something MCHS head coach Janice Edwards said the team is looking forward to.

With a solid roster full of returning cowboys and cowgirls, MCHS could possibly take some events on their home turf.

"It looks pretty good," Edwards said. "We have pretty much the same kids we had in the fall, and some of them have been tuning up all winter."

For the state rodeo, Edwards said the MCHS team will focus on taking home top spots.

"It's mostly the state board that handles everything," she said. "We do need to get a few sponsors, and spend a little bit of money towards it.

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"But, all in all, everything else is taken care of."

Having hundreds of young rodeo cowboys and cowgirls infiltrate Moffat County will help put Craig on the map, Edwards said.

"It's never been over here," she said. "It's nice to get it over here, so hopefully we'll do a good job and keep it here."

The finals aren't just important for the young men and women competing, but important for the community, Edwards said.

"I would think it would be a big asset," she said. "I know there are a lot of people and businesses looking forward to it.

"It will bring in a lot of people, and they're here for five days. It will bring a lot of business into Craig."

The six athletes on the team will fill out a sizable field from MCHS.

Leading the way will be seniors Gabby Miller and Taylor Vernon.

Freshman Wyatt Uptain showed prowess in bronco riding and dally team roping in the fall, and Gabbi Steele is on par with Vernon when it comes to pole bending.

Garrett Buckley and Ian Duzik round out a solid boys half.

New for this year has been an increase in practice time.

"We've been able to get stuff to practice with," Edwards said. "We have calfs to rope, and we'll be practicing every Tuesday. I think we'll have a pretty good season."

At a glance

Coach: Janice Edwards

Returning seniors: 2 (Taylor Vernon, Gabby Miller)

Athletes to watch:

• Vernon: Back for her fourth year, Vernon should be able to be at or near the top in most of her events.

• Wyatt Uptain: In the fall, Uptain experienced success while riding broncos for the Bulldogs. In his second go-round, he should only improve.

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