FLASH STAFF REPORT
(December 6, 2015) — Through four rounds of the National Finals Rodeo, saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley from Stephenville is No. 1 in the world.
Crawley placed for the fourth straight night at his fifth career NFR, conquering J Bar J’s Special Time for 83 points, fourth place in the round and another $11,000. Crawley has placed fourth in three rounds and was second in the third go-round on Saturday, earning more than $53,000 in the finals.
Crawley, 27, soared to the top of the world standings with $172,592.82 in season earnings, almost $5,000 more than Cody DeMoss. As the new average leader with 330 points on four head, Crawley is also atop the projected world standings, which considers current season earnings plus the payout for the average.
Crawley won the NFR average in 2013 when he finished a career-best fourth in the world standings. He has finished in the top 12 in the world each of the last five years.
But Crawley wasn’t the only Stephenville cowboy to earn money at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas Sunday. Nine of the 18 qualifiers from Erath County and the surrounding area combined to earn more than $116,000, the most profitable night so far for the local contingency that has now earned about $380,000 overall at the rodeo.
Sterling Smith split top money in the tie-down roping, matching Cade Swor with a time of 7.2 seconds. Smith, in his second career NFR, earned $23,480.77. His season earnings swelled to $112,546.55 as he jumped from 15th to 10th in the world. Smith was also fifth in round two of these finals.
Stephenville tie-down star Marty Yates matched world champ Tuff Cooper to split third and fourth in 7.4 seconds, moving Yates to fifth in the average and third in the world standings. He is the only calf roper in the top four of the world that is currently alive in the average.
Yates earned $13,326.92 Sunday, pushing his season earnings to $146,088.53. He trails Cooper by just more than $8,000 and Timber Moore by less than $4,000.
Team roping is where the most local athletes have shined, primarily on the heeling side.
Lipan heeler Patrick Smith helped Trevor Brazile to a blistering 3.8 for second place and $20,730.77. World champs Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill were third in 4.1, earning $15,653.85 each, and Huckabay heeler Paul Eaves took sixth in 4.4 for $4,230.77.
It was an especially fast night in the team roping and tie-down roping. There were nine times of 4.8 or faster in the team roping and eight runs of 8.0 or better in the calf roping.
The ever fluid average standings currently show Eaves and header Clay Smith in third with 24.4 seconds on four head. Long and header Coleman Proctor are fifth at 25.6, Stephenville heeler Kory Koontz and Colby Lovell are sixth in 28.6, and Lipan header Chad Masters and Stephenville heeler Travis Graves are seventh at 29.6.
The average will heavily impact the world standings, currently led by Tryan and Corkill. Tryan has $169,266.26 and leads red hot Derek Begay by almost $12,000. Masters is the next highest local header in fifth at $123,388.94.
Corkill has the same earnings as Tryan and leads seven-time world champ Clay O’Brien Cooper by less than $11,000. Patrick Smth is fourth at $122,998.33 and Kory Koonrtz fifth at $119,775.24.
Desdemona saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz placed third with 83.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Pony Man for $15,653.85 Sunday. It’s the first money Diaz has pocketed at his fifth finals, moving him to fifth in the world standings with $133,450.74. He also jumped to fifth in the average with 243.5 points on three head, as only four cowboys have covered all four head.
The fifth round is Monday evening. All rounds are televised at 9 p.m. (CST) by CBS Sports.
All photos courtesy 2009 PRCA Photographer of the Year Dudley Barker and DudleyDoRight.com: