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(December 3, 2015) — Stephenville header Luke Brown and Huckabay heeler Kollin VonAhn placed second in the team roping to headline the opening-round performances of 18 local qualifiers for the National Finals Rodeo Thursday.
Brown and VonAhn, who both entered the NFR 10th in the world standings, roped their steer in 4.2 seconds, earning $20,730.77 each. They were just one-tenth of a second behind go-round winners Aaron Tsinigine and Ryan Motes at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Stephenville heeler Kory Koontz, and header Colby Lovell, who also local family ties, were third in 4.3 seconds, earning $15,653.85 each.
Two-time reigning world champs Clay Tryan, header of Lipan, and Jade Corkill, heeler of Huckabay, roped head and heels in 4.4 for fourth place and $11,000 each, pushing local ropers’ earnings to almost $80,000.
Competitors from Erath County and the surrounding area totaled more than $90,000 in the first round, the rest coming from Stephenville native Jacobs Crawley in the saddle bronc riding. Crawley earned $11,000 for placing fourth with 82.5 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Golden Years.
Huckabay transplant Cort Scheer finished one spot outside the money in the saddle bronc riding, Isaac Diaz of Desdemona was two spots back of the cash. Both local cowboys rode broncs owned by Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls, as Scheer took Showbiz for 81 points and seventh place and Diaz conquered Sheridan WYO’s Tango for 79.5 and eighth.
Stephenville tie-down roper Marty Yates didn’t come out fast like last year when he won his first career round at the NFR, but he didn’t hurt himself, either. Yates roped and tied his calf in 9.5 seconds, the 10th fastest time of the night.
Stephenville’s Sterling Smith missed his calf, but wasn’t the only one with a rough night in the event. Only No. 2 Timber Moore from the top four of the world rankings earned money, as No. 5 Trevor Brazille took the round in 6.8.
Four-tie world champ Bobby Mote of Huckabay recorded a successful ride in the bareback riding, but his score of 67 was the lowest of 12 qualifying rides.
All the local team ropers posted times, with Stephenville heeler Jake Long and partner Coleman Proctor missing the money by one-tenth of a second in 4.7. Huckabay heeler Paul Eaves and teammate Clay Smith finished in 5.0, while Stephenville heeler Travis Woodard and Matt Sherwood were done in 6.4. Brazile is the header for Lipan heeler Patrick Smith, and they finished in 9.7, followed by Chad Masters and Stephenville heeler Travis Graves in 10.6.
Round two on Friday begins at 9 p.m. (CST). Each round is televised by CBS Sports.