East Texas students saddle up their horses

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Ross Freeman is only in fourth grade, but Saturday he was watching his big brother get in the saddle.

"I think he did really good," Ross said.

High school students competed in events like Barrel Racing and Team Roping for a chance to go to the State Competition.

"If I take care of business, then I'll probably be going to state," said Team Roper Taylor Burke.

Ross is just along for the ride, but he knows a thing or two about Rodeo.

"It's fun and there's just so many different reasons people like it," Ross said.

"You get to hang out with all your friends and compete and do what you love," Aimi Kappelman from New Beginnings Christian School said.

Competitors said they liked getting out of the house, making money, and the adrenaline rush that comes with Rodeo.

"Rodeo, it's the best thing in the world," said one Wells High School student.

Rodeo mom and CEO of Diamond J Productions agrees.

"The world today is not about video games, it's not about sitting in front of the TV or listening to rap music.  It's about getting back to what God created," Tracy Johnson said.

Rodeo makes sure one dad's young cowboy is blazing the right trail.

"It keeps him out of trouble, you know.  Plus...it's a career that he can take on after high school," said Calvin Lofton.

That is exactly what Taylor Burke plans on doing.

"I want to do this professionally one day.  So, you know in high school Rodeo, that's where champions get started," Taylor said.

Saturday, there were a lot of champions in the making.

If you missed the rodeo Saturday, you can still go Sunday.  The rodeo starts up again at 9 a.m. and tickets are $5.