story by Ruth Nicolaus For Phoenix Brown, time is of the essence on school mornings. The fourteen-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Nebraska Junior High […]
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Meet the Member Jacie Naprstek
story by Ruth Nicolaus
It may be tough to get Jacie Naprstek out of bed in the mornings, but it’s not hard to get her to practice her rodeo.
The Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association member has trouble waking up. She sets three alarms, but it takes her parents, Chad and Renee, to come to her room and wake her.
But when it’s rodeo, she loves competing in the goat tying, breakaway roping, pole bending, barrel racing, team roping (as a heeler for Rylan Swanson), and ribbon roping (as the runner for Kolt Suhr.)
The thirteen-year-old cowgirl, a resident of Gothenburg, Neb., has three horses. Cherry, a twenty-year-old bay mare is her poles and barrels horse. Sketch, a fifteen-year-old roan gelding, is her goat tying horse. Bump, who is a year younger than Sketch, and a dark bay, is her rope horse. Her favorite is Sketch, because in the practice pen, she can use him for the breakaway and team roping. “I can do anything on him,” she said. “He is a very sweet horse who does anything you ask him to do.”
The eighth grade student at Gothenburg Public School enjoys the social aspect of school, the friends and activities. She loves math and science classes and participates in FFA, volleyball, basketball, and is on the honor roll.
For fun, she loves to hang with friends, which usually consists of watching movies or spending time at Runza, a local fast food chain that is unique to Nebraska. She loves Runza’s chicken strips, fries and ranch dressing.
The Naprstek family has a Sunday night tradition. They like to watch movies and eat popcorn. Jacie loves the Christmas movies and the Hallmark channel. Her favorite show is Gossip Girls, and Mama Mia and The Longest Ride are her favorite movies.
Jacie’s favorite food her mom makes is homemade mac and cheese, which is so much better than the boxed stuff, she says. She loves vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, cucumbers and carrots, kiwi and peaches, Peace iced tea and Kit Kat bars.
Her favorite place to be is at her cousin’s house in Belle Fourche, S.D. The past two summers, she’s spent several weeks there, rodeoing and riding horses with her cousin, Syd Pelster, who is a year younger than Jacie. The girls are close. “It’s a fun time,” she said.
Jacie competed at state finals her sixth grade year. She finished her seventh grade year fourth in the state in goat tying, which would have gotten her to the National Junior High Finals, if they hadn’t been canceled due to COVID-19. But she’s able to roll with the punches and handle change. She also finished tenth in the breakaway at year end.
When she grows up, she might become a pediatrician; she enjoys studying the human body, and she likes being around kids.
Jacie has an older sister, Rylee, who is a senior in high school.