With the second half of the North Texas High School Rodeo Association season now underway, Euless Trinity coach Michael Luschen is hoping that quality takes precedence over quantity.
Meanwhile, at Hurst L.D. Bell, coach Chris Currie is looking for a strong showing from several competitors in the race for a berth in the NTHSRA Finals.
This season, Trinity has just two competitors. Cy Luschen is among the leaders in bareback riding, and Sha’Roby Ratcliff competes in barrel racing and goat tying.
Cy Luschen entered the second half of the season ranked sixth in the NTHSRA among bareback competitors with 212 points. The top 15 in the final regular season standings advance to the finals in May.
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Cy Luschen, a senior, is seeking a fourth consecutive berth in the finals. He finished sixth last season.
“He is not where he would like to be sitting. He had a little dry spell during the first half,” Michael Luschen said. “We stepped back and have come up with a few things we’re going to do to move back up where he wants to be.”
While Ratcliff isn’t as high in the standings as Cy Luschen, her coach believes a second-half surge could be in store for the junior.
“Barrel racing standings change week-to-week,” Michael Luschen said. “If she can get in a groove, she can work her way into the top 15 in no time.”
The coach said the main goal for his duo, however, is to simply keep putting points on the board. He said anything can happen as the competition races to a chase for the top 15.
“The second half is when it gets crazy with kids bouncing around standings. We hope to hit it hard after the winter break,” he said.
“All in all, we are having a good year with only having the two kids. Rodeo is a very demanding sport, no matter what event you do. There is a lot that goes into that eight-second ride or that 16-second barrel run.
“These two go out every weekend no matter the outcome from the week before and give it their all.”
Currie said the main goal for Bell in the second half of the season is simply to keep improving skills.
“For our boys who do the rough stock, [they] work to find that center of balance that keeps them on that bull. For the girls, [they] work to improve upon their best times in barrels and poles,” Currie said.
“I hope the kids use each experience to learn how to improve, to have patience, to pick themselves up when they fall, to work together as a team and support each other and make some memories that they have the rest of their lives.”
Among the participants to watch in the second half is sophomore Hunter McDougall in bull riding and chute dogging. He ended the first half with a 10th-place finish in chute dogging at the last rodeo before the break.
The team’s two seniors, Jacee Butts and Sierra Spears, are also ready for a second-half charge, Currie said.
“Sierra has shown improvement in her pole bending. Jacee is just starting to ride again and is looking forward to competing in the second half of the season,” Currie said.
“We are looking to have a great second half of the season. The kids are working really hard at improving their game. I’m very proud of how they work together and support each other.”