By SALLY SEXTON
Kambria McDougal and Brody Yeary first met in theater class at Brock High School last year.
Both shared a common interest in rodeoing, but neither would realize that, months later, they would again be grouped together, this time as state champions.
“I think it’s pretty cool that two state champs came out of the same class at the same high school,” Yeary said. “Everyone thought we were crazy.”
McDougal, who will be a sophomore at Brock next year, took the Texas High School Rodeo Association title in breakaway roping with 50 points overall.
She received her first horse when she was just 6 months old and began riding by herself at the age of 3.
“When I was about 7 years old is when I started roping,” McDougal said. “My dad roped and he really wanted me to learn too.”
It was the influence of her father and the help of her neighbor, Jerry Jetton, a 13-time National Finals Rodeo calf roper, that have contributed to her success, according to McDougal.
“This is the top 10 competitors in the state of Texas,” she said about her recent competition. “There are tons of high schoolers that are very talented, and I knew I pretty much had to bring it.”
Yeary, who will be a senior at Brock next year, also topped his competitors at the championships. Yeary took the Texas title in bullriding with 49 overall points.
“It’s like slaying dragons, conquering something bigger than you,” he said of the sport. “It’s an adrenaline rush, that’s for sure. I’ve also gotten injured a couple of times but that’s just part of it.”
Yeary, like McDougal, got started at a young age, riding calves at the age of 5.
“My father rode bulls through college, and it’s just something I’ve grown up doing,” he said. “I think every kid wants to grow up to be a bullrider. Some of us get that opportunity, some of us don’t.”
Both say rodeo is something they plan on pursuing at the next level.
With the wins under their belts, the duo is now headed to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to compete at the national level. Competition runs from July 13-19.
For schedules and a link to the live broadcasts, visit www.nhsra.com.