Momentum is a powerful wave and at least one Fallon cowboy is along for the ride.
Jes Tews of the Fallon Rodeo Club and team roping partner Dominic Ceresola of Fernley are coming off a dominating performance at the Nevada State High School Finals Rodeo.
The duo won the state title and look to parlay their success during the National High School Finals Rodeo Sunday through July 18 in Rock Springs, Wyo. Of the eight team ropers from Nevada to qualify, four compete for the Fallon Rodeo Club.
“I knew we had to catch at least two out of the three steers, which we did,” Tews said. “We were lucky enough to do it. It’s a dream come true … and to be a state champion is just awesome.”
Tews’ first-place finish and subsequent automatic qualification for nationals marks the first time since the senior-to-be has competed at a national rodeo. Nevertheless, he said he has numerous big-time rodeo’s under his belt and feels steady heading into nationals.
One obstacle, though, has been the inability to practice with Ceresola since Tews has spent most of the summer in Elko working with his uncle and grandfather.
But Tews, the heeler, has an ace up his sleeve. His cousin was a national champ and has given him several tips in how to focus and mentally prepare for nationals.
“My uncle and grandpa have been helping me at the ranch,” Tews said. “My cousins have helped me, they all made nationals. My cousin Quinn Mori was a national champion and he told me how to handle the nerves and all that stuff.”
In addition, Tews aims to ride the momentum of winning state into, hopefully, another short go performance.
He said the chemistry between him, the heeler, and Ceresola, the header, has grown this year as the two are like brothers. Plus, Tews said if they can get out of the first go with a solid run, they can parlay that momentum into the second run.
Even better, however, is the two cowboys’ pair of runs are both scheduled for Wednesday.
“I like that better because if you go rope a good steer in the morning, you can take that momentum and go rope another good steer in the afternoon,” Tews said. “We hope to catch three steers clean and make the short go. He’s (Ceresola) got a good attitude and it helps a lot.”
In addition to Tews and Ceresola, fellow Fallon Rodeo Club members ran roughshod over the competition in team roping at state.
Cord and Caleb Hendrix placed second, while Mackay Spyrow, who attends Galena High School but rodeos for Fallon, and Moapa’s Jordan Taylor placed third.
The Hendrix’s also qualified in boys cutting, while Cord Hendrix also earned a bid in bull riding.
Spyrow, though, is finishing his sophomore campaign and this marks his second straight appearance at the high school finals and third straight national rodeo after qualifying for the junior high event during his eighth-grade year.
Logistically, however, Spyrow and Taylor cannot practice as they are separated by hundreds of miles. As a result, Spyrow, the heeler, seeks out any header he can to work on his form.
But once in the arena, the duo fall in place as each can anticipate the other’s moves and rhythm.
The two roped together last year, qualifying for nationals and this year, Spyrow said, has improved their teamwork.
“We just got to keep a level head and go in thinking it’s another practice run,” he said.
Last year, the duo finished fourth at state to qualify for nationals and this year finished third.
The difference this time around upon preparing for nationals, Spyrow said, is the year of experience. Last year, nerves took hold of the cowboy.
“Last year I was a tiny, little freshman and nervous,” he added. “The only way I can overcome that is going in keeping a level mind. Don’t expect great things and whatever happens, happens.”