Junior high rodeo

Summer may have started for most, but there are eight local student athletes who still have work to do. These athletes are in Gonzales, Texas to compete in the Texas Junior High Rodeo Associations State Finals. The association divides the state into 10 regions. East Texas represents Region V sending 46 finalist to compete for a state title. There are more than 450 students vying for a state title.

Bosten Oliver, Riley Jenkins, Tristin Brooks, KP Mathis, Madison Stanley, Bryne Wilson, Luccasee DeLaFosse, and Kash Martin are the finalists from Angelina County. These eight students have worked hard all year long; in the heat, late nights, early morning, weekends, passing up fun times with friends , all for the sake of keeping their eyes on the prize.  The top 4 in the state from each event, will have the opportunity to compete at the National level in Huron, South Dakota, June 24-30. 

Bosten Oliver will be returning to state for a second year, competing in Goat Tying, Ribbon Roping, Chute Dogging, Calf Roping, and Team Roping.

“I am looking forward to getting to spend time with friends as well as meet new ones who share the same passion for rodeo. I want to make it to Nationals because this is my final year in the junior high association. It’s going to be tough because we are competing against the best in the state,” says Oliver.  

Bosten is in 8th grade at Hudson Middle School where he is involved in basketball and track, Hudson Helps - a campus volunteer organization, and Hudson Youth Basketball league. 

Riley Jenkins competes in Break Away and Team Roping, this is his third year attending state finals. Riley is an 8th grader at Hudson Middle School. He is involved in 4-H, Show Cattle.

“I hope to not only make it to Nationals but to also High School Rodeo, and compete in a lot of weekend jackpots,” says Jenkins. 

Tristin Brooks will compete in Team Roping and Goat Tying. This is his second time at state.

“I enjoy the sport of rodeo because it drives his life towards my passion. I am looking forward to state because I will have an idea of what I will competing against next year in high school,” says Brooks.

Along with rodeo, Tristin enjoys fishing and gardening. He is in 7th grade at Central Junior High.

Madison Stanley will be competing in three events: Breakaway, Pole Bending, ribbon Roping. This is her first time competing at the state level.

“I grew up in a rodeo family so it is something I have always known and enjoyed. I enjoy meeting new friends and of course meeting THE COWBOYS!”

Madison is in 6th grade at Trodden Paths Homeschool.

Bryne  Wilson will be bull riding as an 8th grader from Central Junior High. This will be Bryne’s final year to as a TJHRA member. “I would love to make it to Nationals.” Bryne credits God, practice, and family to making it this far. Other hobbies he enjoys are anything outdoors: hunting, fishing, and FFA.

Luccasee DeLaFosse will compete at state for the first time as a 6th grader in Team Roping. “I have worked hard all year long and making it to state was my goal. This is a huge reward.”  Luccassee wants to continue to work hard to become a better header and looks forward to making it to the short go at state. He attends Wells Junior High.

KP Mathis will compete in two events: Ribbon Roping and Breakaway. KP says, “Rodeo is challenging and requires a lot of time effort. I love the challenge of getting better at a sport and becoming a better horseman. I am looking forward to making it to the short go, hanging out with friends and getting a Mangolada. Making it to state is a similar to being in the Super Bowl or World Series because Texas has the best of the best cowboys and cowgirls.” KP is in 7th grade and is in the STEM and GT program at Lufkin Middle School. He enjoys hunting and fishing.

Kash Martin will compete in four events: Bareback riding, breakaway roping, chute dogging, and Team Roping. This will be his third year to represent Region V at state. He is chomping at the bit for Monday morning when he can ride his first Bareback Steer. Martin says,”Rodeo is like any sport trying to make it to state. You want to perform at your best so you can represent your region, state and hopefully move on to Nationals.” Kash is in 8th grade at Wells Junior High and participates in track and basketball.  

Competition gets underway Monday, May 27th, with the final round running Saturday morning, June 1. Events will be live-streamed here. Click here for a complete schedule of the events.