By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 28, 2015) — The field for the 2015 National Finals Rodeo is set and includes 18 athletes from Erath County and the surrounding area who have combined for 15 world championships and 130 NFR qualifications (including 2015) in their prestigious careers.
Clay Tryan of Lipan and Jade Corkill of Huckabay are each No. 1 in the world and in pursuit of their third consecutive world championship in team roping. For Corkill, a heeler living in Huckabay, it would be his fourth consecutive world title, while Tryan, a resident of Lipan, is also trying to rope a fourth career heading title.
With the top 15 teams headed to Las Vegas for the NFR, 12 of the 30 ropers competing for world titles are from Stephenville, Huckabay or Lipan.
Headers behind Tryan include No. 3 Chad Masters of Lipan, No. 6 Jake Cooper of Stephenville and No. 10 Luke Brown of Stephenville.
Heelers behind Corkill include No. 3 Patrick Smith of Lipan, No. 4 Travis Graves of Stephenville, No. 6 Kollin VonAhn of Huckabay, No. 7 Travis Woodard of Stephenville, No. 8 Kory Koontz of Stephenville, No. 9 Paul Eaves of Huckabay and No. 13 Jake Long of Stephenville.
Four-time world champion bareback rider Bobby Mote of Huckabay is headed to his 15th consecutive NFR ranked fifth in the world. Other rough stock locals headed to the finals include saddle bronc riders Jacobs Crawley, a longtime Stephenville resident ranked third, Isaac Diaz of Desdemona in fourth and Cort Scheer, who built a home in the Huckabay area just last year, in seventh.
Rounding out local finalists are a pair of Stephenville tie-down Ropers each headed to his second NFR. Marty Yates, a 2013 graduate of Huckabay High School, is ranked third in the world, while Sterling Smith is 13th.
The top 15 in every event advance to the NFR. Below is a list beginning with world rank and ending with number of world titles and NFR qualifications including the upcoming finals:
5. Bobby Mote, Stephenville, $88,485.69 (4 world titles – 15 NFR appearances)
Team Roping (Headers)
1. Clay Tryan, Lipan, $130,497.03 (3-14)
3. Chad Masters, Lipan, $92,658.18 (2-10)
6. Jake Cooper, Stephenville, $80,933.16 (0-2)
10. Luke Brown, Stephenville, $72,409.64 (0-8)
Team Roping (Heelers)
1. Jade Corkill, Huckabay, $130,497.03 (3-8)
3. Patrick Smith, Lipan, $92,267.56 (2-12)
4. Travis Graves, Stephenville, $85,265.12 (0-7)
6. Kollin VonAhn, Huckabay, $79,024.00 (1-5)
7. Travis Woodard, Stephenville, $78,519.30 (0-1)
8. Kory Koontz, Stephenville, $78,467.54 (0-20)
9. Paul Eaves, Huckabay, $77,430.09 (0-4)
13. Jake Long, Stephenville, $68,343.79 (0-5)
Saddle Bronc Riding
3. Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville, $108,908.05 (0-5)
4. Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, $103,566.13 (0-5)
7. Cort Scheer, Huckabay, $88,740.21 (0-5)
3. Marty Yates, Stephenville, $99,280.84 (0-2)
13. Sterling Smith, Stephenville, $72,296.55 (0-2)