Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Members: Team Ropers
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Drake Wycherley is in his final year of competition in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association.
The 13-year-old cowboy who lives in Hooper, Utah, is a breakaway roper, ribbon roper (his runner is Lexi Johnson), heeler (his header is Jackson Woolsey), and chute dogger.
As an eighth grade student at Rocky Mountain Junior High in West Haven, he loves to socialize with his friends and eat lunch. School lunches aren’t too bad, he reports, especially the sweet and sour chicken and the meaty nachos.
His favorite classes in school are science and choir. Drake loves to sing, and his favorite music genre is country. He’s a big George Strait and Chris LeDoux fan, and especially likes LeDoux’s song “Cadillac Jack.”
He spends some of his evenings and Saturdays working for a local farmer, spraying weeds, moving cows, and picking corn and vegetables. He likes farm work, and hopes to be a farmer or involved with agriculture in some way when he grows up.
Drake is saving the money he’s earning for college and a truck, preferably a Ford Power Stroke F350 or a Ram.
The family has three horses, two dogs, two goats, and five chickens. Two of the horses are Drake’s rodeo horses: Tonto as his heel horse and Libby as his breakaway and ribbon roping horse. His third horse is Alice, and he rides her when he’s moving cows.
He has qualified for state finals the past two years in the breakaway and team roping.
Drake has a younger sister, McKenna, who is ten.
He is the son of Nate and Nicole Wycherley.
Haygen Kogianes is team roper, breakaway roper and ribbon roper in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association.
Of all his events, the 13-year-old cowboy, who lives in Spanish Fork, Utah, loves to heel. Next spring, he plans on beginning chute dogging.
His horse is an 18-year-old red roan named Ziggy. Ziggy, who the family acquired from Steve Young a year ago. “He is an amazing horse, and he has taught him a lot,” Haygen says.
Haygen is an eighth grade student at Spanish Fork Junior High, where animal science is his favorite class because he loves working with animals. He is a member of the FFA Club and plans on being a veterinarian one day. He holds a 3.8 GPA and is always on the honor roll.
He is a member of the Lake Shore 4-H Club, where he is a master showman in swine and sheep production. He has won many awards with hard work and dedication.
Haygen competes at about fifteen livestock shows a year, from local jackpots to junior livestock shows and national shows like the NILE (Northern International Livestock Expo). Someday, he’d like to show at the National Western Stock Show in Denver or the Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix. He has shown livestock for five years.
It’s hard parting with his animals after working and training them so long, but he’s learned how to move on to his next challenge.
He has a lot of animals but his favorite is his horse Ziggy and his dog Zoey.
Haygen is the son of Kody and Leslee Kogianes and has two sisters: Kyrae, who is 20, and Kinslee, who is eight. He says without the help and support of his parents, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
LaRell Fitzgerald loves his rodeo.
The 13-year-old cowboy, who lives in Francis, Utah, is in his first year in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association. He competes in the tie-down roping, team roping (his header is Jake Woodward), chute dogging, and goat tying. His favorite event is the tie-down roping, because it’s exciting and fast-paced.
LaRell is an eighth grade student at South Summit Middle School in Kamas. He enjoys math class but dislikes English class. School lunches aren’t very good, he says, so he nearly always packs his own lunch from home. LaRell plays football and basketball and is on his school’s honor roll with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He has received the Wildcat Scholar for his grade point average every term of his junior high school career, and he hopes to win a big prize next spring when all Wildcat Scholars’ names are entered in a drawing for cool stuff like ipads and cash.
The family has two pet border collies, and LaRell’s sister has a pet cat. They also have some Walker hounds that LaRell’s dad uses for his job.
He’s not exactly sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but he’s planning on going to college. He’d like to high school rodeo next year in the roping events and possibly steer wrestle.
LaRell likes to hunt deer and elk, and in October he helped pack out an elk his cousin had shot.
LaRell has a younger sister, Maddie, who is ten and also rodeos. He is the son of Cory and the late Angie Fitzgerald. He misses his mother very much; she died in a car accident a year ago.