Nebraska High School Rodeo Finals teaches more than roping and riding

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - At the Adams County Fairgrounds, the Nebraska High School Rodeo Finals are off and running. The kids out there have been working hard with barrel racing, goat tying, and all sorts of different events, but the biggest thing they take away is what it really teaches them.

A girl takes a shot at pole bending at the Nebraska High School Rodeo Finals in Hastings.

For Nebraskans, the rodeo is all part of tradition.

“I've been rodeoing since I was really young. Like three or four years old. I started junior rodeo when I was six and I've been doing it ever since,” Rodeo Association Vice President Colten Storer said.

Kids from all around the state head to Hastings to compete in the high school finals. But taking home the title of winner is not what it is all about for them.

“Rodeo I guess it just takes so much time you either love it or you don't and you're not going to stick with it if you don't love it,” Competitor Britney Brosius said. “It takes a lot of practice and it teaches you a lot of things like responsibility, hard work, dedication.”

Brosius said she has grown a lot as a person since she started competing as a freshman. Now as a senior she can see how far she has come and the bond she has made with her horse.

The rodeo in Hastings started with just a few portable chutes and a few riders and much like the kids has grown over time.

“It's really nice, I enjoy it. I enjoy seeing the smiles on the young people's faces and determination and that,” Rodeo Committee Member Darrel Stromer said.

Stromer was part of the original board that brought the Oregon Trail Rodeo to Hastings. The high school rodeo has been around for over 12 years now and he said seeing the kids progress is his favorite part.

“It's good to see some good clean cut youth,” Stromer said. “You hear so much on the news about our youth and these are just good clean cut kids who are out to compete hard and enjoy sportsmanship and still have good friendships.”

He also said bringing people from all reaches of the state to central Nebraska means a lot for a place like Hastings.