Westyn Hughes. Write that name down. Remember it.
Hughes is a 16-year-old tie-down roper who defeated some of the world’s top pros such as eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield and former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Adam Gray on Sept. 27 at the Lone Star Arena in Stephenville.
The Stephenville show served as a qualifier event for the RFD-TV’s The American, which is scheduled for March 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The American will offer competitors $2 million, the largest payout ever for a one-day rodeo.
By winning the Stephenville show and the $3,600 that went with it, Hughes, a resident of Caldwell, will advance to a semifinals competition that’s scheduled for Feb. 21-23 at the Resistol Arena in Mesquite. At that point, his goal will be to finish among the top five and advance to The American to compete against 11 other world class ropers.
Hughes, who competes mainly at amateur rodeos and takes on credentialed professionals at jackpot roping shows, said he thrives on roping against tougher competition.
“When I rope on a tougher level, it helps me to step my roping up, but I don’t change my roping or my game plan in any way,” Hughes said. “I’d rope against Fred Whitfield just like I’d rope against anyone else. I go at every calf 100 percent.”
Hughes began roping at age 5. His father, Scott, was a bull rider who wanted his son to rope because he believed it would be much safer.
But tie-down roping has been a natural fit. Each evening, after Hughes finishes his home school lessons, he practices for several hours. That type of work ethic enables the young cowboy to rope with great form and speed when prize money is at stake.
“When you’re making a run, everything just goes out of your mind and that’s when reaction comes in,” he said. “When you work at it in the practice pen, it just becomes automatic.”
Hughes is scheduled to compete in the tie-down roping competition at the Roping Fiesta in San Angelo. The 60th annual show is scheduled for Oct. 25-27. For more information, visit www.sanangelorodeo.com.
Texas Junior College
After tying for seventh at the Oct. 3-5 Southwest Texas Junior College Rodeo in Uvalde, Trinity Valley Community College’s men’s team was ranked No. 4 in the Oct. 5 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southern Region men’s team standings. After competing in the first two rodeos of the season, TVCC had 585.5 points. Sam Houston State was ranked No. 1 with 1,017.5 points, McNeese State was ranked second with 872.5 and Hill College was third with 713.5.
PRCA Champions Challenge update
On the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit, defending world barrel racing champion Mary Walker of Ennis won the Wrangler Champions Challenge tour stop on Oct. 5 in Kissimmee, Fla., after turning in a time of 16.87 seconds. She earned $4,000.
Other champions were saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (85.5 points), steer wrestler Luke Branquinho (3.9 seconds), team ropers Dustin Bird and Paul Eaves (4.8 seconds), tie-down roper Brad Hartt (7.4 seconds), bull rider Trevor Kastner (86 points) and bareback rider Seth Hardwick (84).
J.B. Mauney won the Oct. 4-5 Professional Bull Riders tour stop in Fayetteville, N.C., and earned $34,840. He is ranked second in the Built Ford Tough Series world title race with 9,258.25 points. Defending world champion Silvano Alves, who finished fourth in Fayetteville, is ranked No. 1 with 10,652.
The PBR’s last show of the 2013 regular season is scheduled for Oct. 11-13 in Hollywood, Fla. The 20th annual PBR World Finals is Oct. 23-27 in Las Vegas. For more information, visit pbr.com.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the past quarter-century. Email him at email@example.com.
Westyn Hughes. Write that name down. Remember it.
TVCC basketball teams headed to National Tournaments
The No.8-ranked Trinity Valley Cardinals and No. 1-ranked Lady Cardinals will be heading to the NJCAA national basketball tournaments in Hutchinson, Kansas and Salina, Kansas respectively the week of March 17-22.
REGION XIV TOURNAMENT: Survive and advance
The No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals survived a ferocious attack by the Jacksonville Lady Jaguars in the semifinal round of the Region XIV conference tournament with an 84-73 victory at UT-Tyler.
HIGH SCHOOL POWERLIFTING: Record setting lift
Athens lifter Jose Rodriguez and Brownsboro lifter Aaron Chitwood advanced to the Class 3A state meet March 22 in Abilene.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Athens picks up two wins at Princeton tournament
The Athens Hornets won their first two games in the Princeton tournament on Thursday.
REGION XIV TOURNAMENT: Soaring to the semifinals
The No. 8-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals advanced to today’s semifinal round with a sweep of the Lee College Runnin’ Rebels at UT-Tyler’s Herrington Patriot Center.
HIGH SCHOOL TRACK: Eustace teams start season strong at Bulldog Relays
The Eustace LadyDogs and Bulldogs finished as the top two teams at the Eustace Bulldog Relays Feb. 27.
3-7 East Texas Fishing Report
Here is the East Texas Fishing Report for this week:
ATHENS — Water level is at normal level and fairly clear. Water temp in the 40s, 50s. No report available from Lake Athens Marina.
REGION XIV TOURNAMENT: Flying high
When you get to the conference tournament, the motto of survive and advance is the No. 1 thought on any team’s mind.
HIGH SCHOOL POWERLIFTING: 7 local powerlifters advance to state meet in Corpus Christi
Brownsboro’s Ashley Hernandez and Mabank’s Deana Lane qualified for the Class 3A state meet on March 15 with top finishes at the Class 3A, Division II regional championships on Saturday.
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Athens soccer swept by Whitehouse Tuesday night
The Athens Lady Hornets are now 8-8-3 overall and 5-3 in District 31-4A play with a 4-1 win over the Lindale Lady Eagles and a 7-0 loss to Whitehouse.
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