Local rodeo duo help earn third consecutive Quad State title
Cody Cooper and O.P. Ogg, both eighth-grade students at Martin Middle School, were members of the Tennessee team that won the third consecutive Quad State Wrangler Junior High Rodeo Challenge.
The scene was set for the third annual Quad State competition March 29-30 in Bowling Green, Ky. The host state of Kentucky had everything ready as the contestants from each state rolled onto the arena grounds. Students from four states — Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Indiana — were prepared to go head to head for the championship title.
The event was a two go round rodeo with the first go beginning early on the morning of March 29.
The pressure was on for the Tennessee team as the past two years the team from the Volunteer State had brought home the championship title and the had the flags to fly to prove it. The cowboys and cowgirls from Tennessee were on a quest for a third title. The Volunteer State representatives — consisting of 26 boys and girls — took control of the arena grounds like champs.
At the end of the first go and the first day of competition, the Tennessee team and the host team from Kentucky were close in points with Tennessee just edging out in front. The championship was still up for grabs and it would be a fight through the final event.
The fight for the title would continue the next day, but for now, the competitors needed to relax and have some fun starting with a pot luck supper that included all the parents and contestants.
After Cowboy Church on Sunday morning, it was back to business, beginning with the second go.
When all the points were counted and the announcement was made that Gem Mitchell's team from Tennessee was once again victorious for the third consecutive year, the teams' cheers were louder than the hundreds of horses that thundered through the arena that weekend.
Cooper and Ogg are among the 19 team members who will move up to the high school level next year, leaving only five members from the three-peat team to compete in 2009. The championship team will be remembered for years to come.
For more information about the Wrangler Division of Junior Rodeo, contact Mitchell at 731-658-5867.