Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 15, 2013

HCLS begins Monday!

Past victor wants to do it again

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Coy Gonzales of the LaPoynor FFA hopes his strong showing in the 2012 Henderson County Livestock Show is a prelude to better things in his senior year.

Gonzales specializes in hogs, and just missed taking home the big prize in March, 2012.

“Last year was my best showing at HCLS,” Gonzales said. “I won the Hampshire drive, which was a whole breed. I did the Grand Champion drive at the end, and got third. I won a buckle. I hope I can do it again this year.”

Gonzales said he didn’t tell many people how good his hog was, going into last year’s competition.

“When I got to the show, a lot of people were surprised,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales, who lives at Safari Waters, has been showing at HCLS since his fifth-grade year. A year later, he found his favorite event.

“I saw some of my friends doing it, and asked them about it,” Gonzales said. “I asked how to get involved in showing pigs, and they said join the FFA.”

Gonzales joined up, and began learning the skill of raising a top-notch hog.

“The first three years, I just sort of fed them, and watched them,” Gonzales said. “The last few years, I’ve watched what I fed them, walked them every day, actually trying to win, to make more money.”

Gonzales said the market-hog event is the best way to earn some good money at the HCLS, without the expense of showing a steer. In 2012, each pig that made the auction brought at least $1,000.

Coy says his father, Roy Gonzales, helps him with his pigs, but because of his work, missed seeing him win his division last year. He did make it in time to see him take third in the Grand Champion drive.

“He hasn’t been able to go the past few years because of his work, but this year, he’s actually going to be there. That ought to be fun,” Coy said.

He still gets excited when it’s time to exhibit his hog in front of the crowd and the judges.

“Showing your pig gets pretty exciting, especially if you know you have a good one that walks well for you. There’s technique in it,” Coy said.

Coy has two hogs to show this year, and has high hopes that one will be around for the Grand Championship drive.

Coy enjoys FFA, and working with his AG teacher, Brad Rogers.

“He’s fun to work with. He’ll always make you laugh.”

This is the last HCLS for Coy, but just a part of his busy schedule at LaPoynor.  He plays basketball, runs track and rides bulls in the annual LaPoynor rodeo each May.

“I’m looking forward to graduation, but I’ll miss my friends,” Coy said. “I like the small-town school. I know everyone there, and it’s more one-on-one with the teachers, so they can help you more.”

His immediate plan after graduation is to spend some time working with his father in the oil field. Then he will  go to college, and study agriculture.