High school rodeo season begins SaturdayRodeo doesn’t take time off — especially for those high school-aged cowboys and cowgirls.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Rodeo doesn’t take time off — especially for those high school-aged cowboys and cowgirls.
“It seems like it just got over with not to long ago,” Belfield bull rider Devin Boltz said.
That’s because it did.
Just two months after the North Dakota high school rodeo season ended, it cranks back up again.
The North Dakota High School Rodeo Association’s season gets under way Saturday morning with the two-day Mandan Rodeo.
Boltz is one of six returning state champions and said he’s looking forward to defending his title.
“As far as the season goes, it’s just to keep riding good and stay positive and confident and see how it turns out in the end,” said Boltz, who is a senior at Belfield High School.
Other returning champions include: Lexus Kelsch of McLaughlin, S.D., (barrel racing and pole bending), Keaton Schaffer of Broadus, Mont. (tie-down roping), Colt Roshau of Bismarck (boys cow cutting) and Logan Berg of Mandan (bareback riding).
Tate Benson of Scobey, Mont., was the champion header in the team roping last season but lost his partner to graduation. He’ll be teaming up with Schaffer this weekend.
Kelsch, who rodeos in North Dakota through a National High School Rodeo Association rule that allows contestants to compete in neighboring states, leads a talented pack of returning barrel racers.
The entire top five from last season is back.
All of the National High School Finals Rodeo qualifiers return in girls cow cutting too. Three of them, including champion Saige Feilmeier, are from Watford City.
While there are plenty of returning champions, others with NHSFR experience are hoping to make a move this season.
Killdeer senior Wyatt Bice is one of those cowboys.
He took third in the saddle bronc riding last season and was fourth in the tie-down roping. He’ll also do team roping with Alexander’s Joe Nelson.
Bice will also serve as president of the NDHSRA student officers.
“I just want to make it to nationals in all my events and do as good as I could do,” Bice said. “… I’m finally at the top. I feel like I have a better chance.”
Returning NDHSRA state champions
Tate Benson, Scobey, Mont., team roping (new partner is last year’s heeler runner-up Keaton Schaffer of Broadus, Mont.)
Logan Berg, Mandan, bareback riding
Devin Boltz, Belfield, bull riding
Lexus Kelsch, McLaughlin, S.D., barrel racing and pole bending
Colt Roshau, Bismarck, boys cow cutting
Keaton Schaffer, Broadus, Mont., tie-down roping
NDHSRA fall schedule
Saturday and Sunday – Mandan Rodeo
Sept. 1 and 2 – Valley City Rodeo
Sept. 8 – Watford City Rodeo
Sept. 9 – Velva Rodeo
Online: For more information on the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association, visit www.ndhsra.org.