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High school rodeo season kicks off with plenty of spirit

By: Kathy Prendergast Special to The News Messenger
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The California High School Rodeo Association and the Wrangler Jr. High Division kicked off the 2008-09 season this past weekend. The CHSRA and the Wrangler Jr. High Division are both offshoots of the National High School Rodeo Association. The CHSRA is composed of nine districts throughout the state. District 3 includes competitors from Yuba, Nevada, Placer, Sutter, Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, El Dorado and Sierra counties. Lincoln-area Wrangler Jr. competitors this year are eighth-grader Briana Brown, sixth-grader Sara Novi and eighth-grader Shelby Workman, all competing in barrel racing and pole bending. Lincoln-area high school competitors are: Kristin Dykes, senior, competing in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying; Cheyenne Hanson, senior, competing in barrel racing and pole bending; Hailye Ioppolo, senior, competing in team roping, breakaway roping and goat tying; Krista Lee, junior, competing in barrel racing and pole bending; Brittany Ragoshke, junior, competing in team roping and breakaway roping; Austin Tyler, senior, competing in team roping and saddle bronc riding; Luke White, senior, competing in team roping and saddle bronc riding; and Adrianna Novi, freshman, competing in barrel racing and pole bending. CHSRA strives to encourage a closer, personal acquaintance, social relations and a friendly spirit of cooperation amongst members; to promote the highest type of conduct and sportsmanship at the various rodeos; to increase and maintain the interest of high school students in rodeos and other western functions and to encourage boys and girls to continue in school and participate in rodeos and then continue on to college. Rodeos are built upon hundred of years of cattle ranching and based on the traditions of early vaqueros and cowboys. Students involved in the CHSRA and the Wrangler Jr. High Division represent a thriving cross-section of a still-vibrant western tradition and lifestyle. CHSRA members often spend hours each day not only practicing their preferred rodeo event, but also practicing responsibility as their horse’s caretaker. Their partners are their horses and it requires everyday participation. The horses are athletes too. They have to keep them in shape, keep them healthy and do training specific to each event in which they will be competing. CHSRA District 3 tested their individual skills and collective teamwork at their first rodeo on Sept. 27-28 at the Lincoln Rodeo Grounds. Though they may be competing against each other, all District 3 members and their family members cheered each other on. Though CHSRA isn’t formally offered through local high schools, the organization holds its members to the same rigorous standards expected of any student athlete, including good academic performance and good citizenship. In fact, the only primary difference between the CHSRA and other high school sports is that the CHSRA does not receive funding or release time from school districts. Instead it is up to the students to pay their own way and appeal to the community for sponsorships and donations. Likewise, it is local businesses, functioning as event sponsors at local rodeos, that help keep those traditions alive and thriving for the next generation. Those interested in sponsorships or support can contact Cindy Tyler at 645-0755. Membership is ongoing throughout the season; contact Tyler at 645-0755. For more information on the CHSRA District 3, go online at www.chsradistrict3.com or www.chsra.com.