Last Modified: Monday, June 04, 2012 9:58 PM
Louisiana’s junior high rodeo champions were crowned during the weekend at Burton Complex, and now it’s the high schoolers’ turns to showcase their rodeo prowess.
From bronc riding to bull riding to steer wrestling and more, the Louisiana High School Finals Rodeo kicks off today with the top four finishers in each event earning a berth in the National High School Finals Rodeo this summer in Wyoming.
Louisiana High School Rodeo Association Secretary Brenda Shope said she believes the positive momentum from the junior high finals will carry from today through Saturday. Three hundred LHSRA members and their families have traveled to Lake Charles for the rodeos.
“The junior high rodeo went very well, and we expect the high school rodeo to be even better,” Shope said. “This is the main event. It’s been away for 12 years, so the LHSRA Board of Directors is very excited about it. It’s been a lot of hard work.”
Rodeo performances begin at 6:30 p.m. each night. Tickets can be purchased at the door and cost $5 for tonight through Friday night and $8 on Saturday.
Shope said rodeo provides opportunities for both physical fitness and life skills for high school students.
“Rodeo builds a very good work ethic,” she said. “All these kids are responsible for taking care of their own animals ... and all their own training and preparation. If they have a coach it’s mom or dad usually; it builds strong family bonds.”
DeQuincy High sophomore Kelsey Chesson has experience competing on the junior high and high school rodeo circuits, and she said distinct differences exist between the two.
In high school it’s more one-on-one, kind of fend for yourself,” Chesson said. “It’s definitely a lot more competitive, more maturity with people getting ready for college.”
The cream of the crop take center stage starting tonight.
• What: Louisiana High School Finals Rodeo.
• Where: Burton Coliseum.
• When: Today-Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
• Tickets: Available at the door, $5 for performances today-Friday, $8 for performances Saturday, $25 for all-week armbands (on sale today only). *Children 5 and younger are free.