Reeves rides rush of rough stock events, takes all-around lead after first go-round

Published 8:59 am Friday, May 31, 2024

Zach Reeves says he thrives on the rush he feels competing in rough stock events as it drives him to become better.

The sophomore cowboy from Sulphur has spent time over the last year learning from former pros to hone his saddle bronc and bull riding skills, and it is paying dividends. He is right in the middle of a tight race for the Louisiana High School Finals Rodeo All-Around Cowboy title at Burton Coliseum

He was two points out of the lead before Thursday’s first go-round, trailing Jakob Simoneaux 109-107, but jumped into the lead after a 63-point ride in saddle bronc to pick up 7.2 points. He leads Simoneaux 114.2-109 with two rounds left. Right behind them are three more cowboys within striking distance is Iowa’s John Murphy (107) Trent Broussard (Esterwood, 97) and Bill Odell (Liberty, 95.8).

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“I am pretty confident that I can do what I need to do to gain the ground and win the All-Around,” Reeves said. “I like the adrenaline of bull riding and the saddle bronc.

“I like that everybody that I am riding against is there to help too. They are not against me. We are helping each other out.”

He has had an opportunity to learn from seven-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier James Boudreaux and Cody Demoss, a 14-time qualifier.

“I have been going to a lot of rodeos and hitting it harder,” Reeves said. “I went to a couple of rodeo schools too.

“It has been rough. They don’t take it easy on me. They have worked on technique, fine-tuning and getting everything just right.”

Reeves was the state runner-up in bull riding last year and looks to take the next step. Last year’s lineup of bulls yielded four 8-second rides between four competitors. Reeves had one in the short-go round for 73 points last year, but didn’t make an eight-second round in Thursday’s first go-round. He trails Brennan Polito 70.4-53 and is ranked third in saddle bronc riding with 61.2 points.

“I feel like I am pretty even in both, but I am more worried about getting points in the bull riding,” Reeves said. “I am only 11 points behind and I would like to try to win that title this year.”

Simoneaux is ranked fourth in saddle bronc and has a one-point lead on Bryer Prince, 85-84, in bareback riding.