Glen Rose FFA delivers in 2015

TYE CHANDLER sports@theglenrosereporter.com
With her Limousin steer "Mike Wazowski" placing sixth at the Houston Livestock Show, Kora Dodson joined the elite Glen Rose showmen this year that made FFA instructor Blake O'Quinn (far left) proud.

Glen Rose FFA is coming up big in more than one way these days.

In 2015, Glen Rose FFA members amassed more than $17,000 in calf scramble money at various stock shows and rodeos including Waco Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo, San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, Glen Rose PRCA Rodeo, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and Star of Texas Fair in Austin.

"This year saw the most participation and success we've ever had in calf scrambles," said Blake O'Quinn, GRHS FFA instructor. "Our catch rate was 80-90 percent. It was wild, and the kids are really good at it. Our top guys are second and third-year calf scramblers, so they're kind of veterans who know what they're doing.

"You have to catch a calf and get a halter on them pretty quick. I think we're doing better than nearly all other schools because our kids have learned the technique."

Top winners were Cashion Klipfel ($2,000 scholarship in San Angelo / overall winner; $1,650 in Houston / First Catch; $1,000 in Austin, $300 in Glen Rose) and Dakota Stroud ($1,500 in Houston; $1,500 in Austin; $300 in Glen Rose; $250 in San Angelo).

"Those two have just figured out how to do it," O'Quinn said. "They cut quicker angles, and once they get ahold of the calf they don't let go."

Other notable winners were Miguel Barraza ($2,500 in Austin / second overall; $300 in Glen Rose), Landen Ibarra ($1,000 in Austin; $300 in Waco; $250 in San Angelo), Koda Duren ($1,000 in Austin), Ty Campbell ($1,000 in Austin) and Kris Douglas ($300 in Waco; $300 in Glen Rose).

"We really appreciate the stock shows that put it on," O'Quinn said. "It allows these kids to basically purchase their steers, heifers, lambs and pigs, for example. Then, all they have to do is put the time and the feed into it.

"That's still a lot, but they're not out of pocket any money to purchase their animal. Some of them are going to be able to get multiple animals out of it."

Glen Rose FFA also delivered plenty of stock show success, most recently at Houston Livestock Show in March. Kora Dodson placed sixth with her Limousin steer "Mike Wazowski," while Camron Rush placed 10th in Houston with his ABC steer.

"Kora worked really hard all year with him, and that was my favorite calf her family had," O'Quinn said. "I was so proud of her to place, because it's a tough show. This was only Camron's second year to show a steer, so that's pretty cool. He worked really hard as well."

O'Quinn made sure to mention other notable finishers from major shows this year.

"Glen Rose FFA placed at least one animal at every (major) stock show, and we also placed nearly every species in at least one show, which is pretty good since it's so competitive," he said. "Landen Ibarra had a second-place gilt in San Angelo in February, while Cashion had a seventh-place gilt in San Angelo. Maci Sowders had a fourth-place barrow in Fort Worth in February, while Lane Smajstrla had a ninth-place goat in Fort Worth.

"Westen Halcom (15th) and Kasen Keese (20th) both placed lambs in Fort Worth. Abby Green had a fourth-place barrow in San Antonio in February, while her brother, Briley, had a seventh-place barrow in San Antonio. It's a huge accomplishment for anyone to finish in the top 10 at these major shows because of the quality of livestock and the fact that Texas has the most competitive shows in America."

All in all, O'Quinn gives two thumbs up and then some to his FFA students this school year.

"Our kids did a good job this year and really worked hard with their animals," he said. "I heard somebody say one time that 'these kids aren't raising the animals, the animals are raising them.' They're learning a lot of responsibility and it's cool to see them have success. All their hard work is paying off, so I'm really proud of them."