High School Rodeo Athletes From All Over Nebraska Head to Hastings for State Finals | New

The state’s top high school rodeo athletes will travel to Hastings Friday through Sunday to compete for the title of Nebraska’s Best.

The Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo features the top 30 competitors in each of 13 events (the top 60 in the stringing team.) High school students racked up points throughout the fall and spring seasons, and this What follows is a preview of several of the leaders event.

Dane Pokorny is back to defend his steer wrestling title in 2021.

The Stapleton cowboy, who graduated from Thedford High School in 2022, leads the steer fight this year, just eight points clear of his friend, Coy Johnston.

His rodeo year has been good, he says, “consistent. I took points every weekend.

Not only does Pokorny excel at rodeo, but he was part of the Thedford High football team that won the D2 state runners-up title. He was an honorary all-state legend and all-state running back, and started all four years in football and basketball.

And this is the last rodeo of the national final for Pokorny’s horse, Shorty. He will retire after Pokorny ridden him in the state finals and, if he qualifies, in the national high school finals. After that, it’s out to pasture, to be “loved,” Pokorny said.

Pokorny is the son of Brad and Paula Pokorny. He also qualified for the stringing team finals.

Grand Island’s Reagan McIntyre broke into the world of high school rodeo in a big way.

The 15-year-old cowgirl who just completed her freshman year leads two events: the roping breakaway and the goat tether, with a double-digit lead in the breakaway over number two cowgirl, Makayla Wray.

McIntyre excelled in the junior high rodeo, finishing in the junior high national finals in sixth place in the world in the breakaway.

“It gave me the confidence to get into high school,” she said. “I knew there were tons of tough competitions (in high school), so I had to take a step up, get into the high school ranks.”

A student at Grand Island Northwest, she competed in volleyball, basketball, and track and field, and was on the honor roll. His 4×800 relay team finished seventh in class B at the athletics competition this year.

The eldest of Jeremy and Karen McIntyre’s four children, Reagan admits the whole family is competitive when playing games, like spoons.

“It’s really quite intense,” she laughed. “We pretty much stopped playing because (games) are getting so competitive.”

She has a plan for the state finals.

“I’m just going to explain how I’m doing at each race. It’s just another weekend where you have to set strong runs and stay on top of your game. She also qualified for the state finals in pole bending, team roping, and barrel racing.

In bareback riding, Tate Miller is confidently in first place.

The Springview cowboy has a six-point lead over number two Spencer Denaeyer.

His strong rodeo season has been good, he said, after a weak showing at the 2021 National High School Finals Rodeo.

At nationals last year, “I didn’t have the nationals that I would have liked, and my confidence was down, going into my junior year,” he said. “I won a lot of rodeos (in high school) this year, which helped me gain points and regain my confidence. I had a good season, so it boosted my confidence.

Miller, who will be a senior at Keya Paha County High School this fall, plays football and is a member of the FFA and the National Honor Society.

He is the son of Will and Jamie Miller.

Among the boys, Cooper Bass is at the top of the rankings.

Cowboy Brewster, an online high school graduate, has had a stellar year in cutting.

“I did very, very well,” he said. “My mare is doing very well.”

He will also enter the state finals in first place in the rope team, heading to Zach Bradley, and in a third event, the tie-down rope, in fourteenth place.

Because Bass took online classes, he had time to find a job, working at three different sales barns, sometimes working 24-hour shifts. He also rides horses for others, putting thirty days of training on them.

He is the son of Steve and Teresa Bass.

Hailey Witte, Crookston (barrel racing) are among the other leaders (at press time) heading into the weekend’s finals; Hunter Boydston, Grover, Colorado (bull riding); Brooke Forre, Newman Grove (Girls Cup); Raina Swanson, Genoa (post bending); Monte Bailey, Lakeside (bronc saddle riding); Sid Miller, Merna (tie-down rope) Brady Renner, Ericson (hooker); and Tatum Olson, Bloomfield (reinforced cow horse).

The 13 events include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down rope, steer wrestling, team rope, breakaway rope, goat tether, rope bending pole, barrel racing, boys cut, girls cut, curbed cow horse and bull riding.

The first round takes place on Fridays at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The second round takes place on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. After the two rounds, the top 10 competitors in each event will advance to the short round on Sunday at 1 p.m. The cup will take place at 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the final round at 8 a.m. on Sunday. The suppressed cow horse will be at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The top four in each event, after the state finals are completed, qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo, to be held this year in Gillette, Wyo., July 17-23.

The 2022-23 Miss Nebraska High School Rodeo Queen will be crowned ahead of Sunday’s performance.

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