NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - July is the time for baseball to shine and while many area kids are hitting the diamond a handful are in the rodeo arena preparing for Nationals.
The National High School Finals Rodeo is set for July 14-20 in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The event has participants from all 50 states as well as Canada, Mexico and Australia.
The group of East Texas rodeo athletes is led by Groveton’s Carson Ray, the defending national cutting champion.
“I try not to get over confident,” Ray said. “This is really the second time I have been to a big event. I have had a lot more practice this year. I do feel better this year.”
After Nationals’ Ray will be heading to the World Youth NYCHA show in Ft Worth. The event takes the top 15 performers and Ray is currently sitting 6th place in the standings.
Ray is joined at Nationals by Rusk’s Kolt Dement in the bareback competition, Evadale’s Bryce Taylor in bull riding, Japser’s Jake Kahla in steer wrestling and Alto’s Reagan Davis in pole bending.
Some East Texas rodeo athletes have already brought home honors. The Junior High National rodeo has already taken place. Central’s Bryne Wilson brought home the national bull riding championship. Landon Cook from Alto was named the reserve champion in goat tying and 7th in saddle bronc. Lufkin’s Kash Martin finished 9th place in bareback.