Evening Breeze host  to prep rodeo event

By Jeff Birchfield

   Stoney Creek better be ready to Cowboy Up. The Evening Breeze Arena will be the site this weekend for the Virginia High School Rodeo Association and Junior Rodeo Association events.
   The best young cowboys and cowgirls this end of the state are scheduled to compete, including: Unaka student Travis Blevins and his team roping partner, Happy Valley's Josh Johnson; Seth and Will Castle from Jonesborough; Sneedville's Jordan Southern, and calf roper Ryan Proffitt of Greeneville.
   Also, Virginia Junior Rodeo champ Sarah Wilcox, who has family in Elizabethton, will compete in the 13 and 14-year-old division.
   Plenty of events will be on the menu, enough to satisfy the ardent rodeo fan. Calf roping, team roping, barrell racing, pole bending and goat tying serve as flavorful courses. There will also be the marquee rodeo events of bulldogging (steer wrestling) and bullriding.
   This variety of activities lends to some of the top junior cowboys as well with Happy Valley student Christian Potter, one of the key performers. Potter ties goats, runs barrells and poles as part of the routine.
   You may wonder why the Virginia High School Association is the sanctioning body for this event featuring many Tennessee athletes. That's because the Tennessee High School Association mainly hosts rodeo events on the western end of the state from Nashville to Memphis.
   The local rodeo athletes find themselves in closer proximity to the Virginia gatherings with many of those based in Rural Retreat and Galax. However, some of the local competitors, including Blevins, did travel six hours last weekend to ride and rope in the Virginia State Fair at Richmond.
   The scores complied at this weekend's rodeo will go toward securing a spot at the Virginia State Finals held later in the season. For those interested in attending the rodeo, starting times are Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m..
   To get to the Evening Breeze Arena, follow Highway 91 up Stoney Creek, turn right toward Blue Springs, go to the forks turn right, come to the field bridge and the arena is on the left. Rodeo signs will be up to help show the way.