Rodeo team set for fall season
Craig — The Moffat County High School rodeo team is gearing up for another season of solid performances.
MCHS will start competing Sept. 4 in Cortez, Colo., and coach Jacque Duzik expects more than 15 cowboys and cowgirls out for the team.
“I probably expect 20 kids out for rodeo this fall,” said Duzik. “We will have 10 for sure. Most of these kids have been in rodeos all summer long. They have stayed in shape and they are ready to start the fall high school season.”
Many Bulldogs have been participating in rodeos across the state over the summer break.
According to Duzik, senior Lacey White has been doing very well all summer at the Steamboat Springs rodeo.
Junior Kayla Steele and senior Coalin Hume have been both taking part in the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association and sophomore Justin Gates, a bullrider, has been competing in Little Britches.
“During the summer that’s how they keep busy and stay in shape for high school rodeo in the fall,” Duzik said. “Everybody is pretty much on their own to practice and to keep themselves in shape. I look for better things this year and these kids are really competitive.”
Senior Jake Hettinger, Hume and Steele all participated in the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyo., in July.
“It’s great to have three people come back from the national finals,” said Duzik. “They will spread the word out about how great it is.
“The goal for everybody on the team is to make the national finals in July.”
Duzik said the Bulldogs will have a busy September with rodeos each weekend starting on Labor Day weekend and finishing with their own rodeo.
“Our rodeo will be held Sept. 25-26. The rodeo will finish out the fall season,” she said. “Last year we had 187 kids that took part in the rodeo.”
In the fall season, MCHS will be looking to capture some top spots to put themselves in position to earn a place at nationals. The top four people in each event go to nationals.
“The kids will be working on building up points for the state rodeo,” said Duzik. “Everybody is shooting for first place in their events.”
Some students are choosing to chart their own course after graduation, bucking the conventional path of college or trade school, but with no less ambition than their degree-seeking peers. Moffat County High School senior Tyler Gonzales is one such student, who has chosen to dive into a full-time job at Chaos Ink after graduating and feed his passion for design and entrepreneurialism.