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June 21, 2014

Local student to compete in national rodeo

CHICKASHA — Ninnekah High School student and local rodeo contestant Cale Garrett recently hit the nail on the head at a state rodeo competition. Now, he's got his eyes on a bigger target: the National High School Finals Rodeo.

"It felt pretty good to hear my name called over the loudspeaker at Woodward," he said. "Qualifying for nationals as a freshman is a pretty big thing."

Cale, 15, is one of four contestants selected at state finals in Woodward to compete in the shotgun and light rifle shooting competition at the National Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

The rodeo will begin at 7 p.m. on July 13, with performances at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day until July 19, according to the NHSRA.

The rodeo features more than 1,500 contestants from across the U.S., Canada and Australia. To be named a national champion, contestants have to score in the top 20 in their first two rounds to advance to the final round, then their scores will be determined by their combined times and scores from three rounds, according to the NHSRA.

Cale said he just started shooting this year and, despite qualifying for the national rodeo in shooting, team and calf roping are his favorite rodeo events.

He said he's confident about his chances in nationals.

"If I focus and keep my priorities straight, I think I can do pretty well at nationals," Cale said.

Rodeos are in the Garrett blood.

Cale's father, Rusty Garrett, said he participated in rodeos throughout high school and college and each of his four children have participated in rodeos.

In fact, one of Cale's sisters attends school on a rodeo scholarship, Cale said

After having children, Rusty said he let them take the spotlight.

"It's been a really great thing watching them grow up," Rusty said. "Rodeos are good, clean stuff for the family to get involved in."

Rusty said he's proud of his son and looks forward to the family trip to Wyoming.

"I'm extremely proud of him for having the courage to do it," he said. "All my kids have won a lot of awards, but hearing the praise and respect their peers give them means more."

Ninnekah Public Schools Superintendent Todd Bunch said he was principal of Ninnekah Elementary School when Cale was a student.

"He's a kiddo that is an ideal student to represent Ninnekah at any level," Bunch said. "He's just a very polite, hard-working, dedicated young man."

Bunch said Cale was and remains very active in extracurricular activities.

He said he's seen Cale mature and, as a former rodeo participant himself, knows the dedication it takes to compete.

"He's got the physical and mental capability to take it as far as he wants to take it," Bunch said.

Those who are interested can track the results of the NHSFR daily at nhsra.org.

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