Young rodeo guys, gals heading to national event
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
Taylor Davis of Rifle has qualified for the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, and Rifle High School senior-to-be Colten Bumgardner has qualified for the national high school rodeo in saddle bronc.
The two are part of an active junior high and high school rodeo club called the Colorado Northwestern Rodeo Club, which has members ranging from Silt to Carbondale to Eagle. All total, three members of the club — including Hunter Howe of Glenwood Springs — will face national competition in the weeks to come.
Davis and Howe will compete in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, which will take place from June 21 to 27 in Des Moines, Iowa. The National High school Finals Rodeo will go from July 12 to 18 at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Davis won the all-around title competing in the junior high state finals in Craig this past weekend, competing in six events that included barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, dally ribbon roping and breakaway roping. She also brought home the all-around cowgirl title during a three-day Little Britches rodeo in Rifle two weeks prior at the Garfield County Fairgrounds.
Howe, who this year is a rookie to rodeo in general, will compete in three events in the junior high national finals: chute dogging, breakaway and bull riding.
Bumgardner, who lives in Silt and will be a senior at Rifle High School in the fall, finished second in the final go-round at the state finals in Craig to net him his first trip to the high school national finals.
Another state award that was distributed to a member of the club went to 12-year-old Laiken Groom of Carbondale, who won the “Ariat Boots Put Your Best Foot Forward Award.” The honor, which was awarded to Groom at the state-final rodeo in Craig, serves as a sort of “Miss Congeniality” award given to the most upbeat, positive and inclusive rodeo competitor at the event.
Other team members of the Colorado Northwestern Rodeo Club include Drake Groom of Carbondale, Brody Morgan of New Castle, Tianna Davis of Rifle and Mariah Dermody of Eagle.
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Senior quarterback/safety/punt returner Trey Caldwell used his legs to make up for some mistakes Rifle football made on Friday night and momentarily kept their hopes for a 2A state title alive.