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Corkill partners up for success

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

RENO ” You could say that Fallon’s Jade Corkill has been blessed with a good roping partners.

Corkill turned professional his senior year of high school to team with Matt Tyler, and ended up being named the PRCA Rookie of the Year and nearly qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Tyler retired after the 2006 season, and after a disappointing 2007 which saw him limited to a half-season of competition because of family issues, the Fallon native is back at the top of the game and, along with new partner Chad Masters, is currently ranked No. 2 in the world.

Corkill, now 20, doesn’t regret eschewing college for the professional ranks at the tender age of 17.

“I had a good partner, and that’s why I turned pro right away (instead of going to college),” said Corkill, who flew out of Reno Wednesday afternoon to go to rodeos in Texas and New Mexico where he will be for the duration of the week. “I always wanted the opportunity. Matt is the only reason I went straight into it.”

Corkill, a heeler, has struck gold with Masters, who teamed with Walt Woodard to win the 2007 National Finals Rodeo championship.

“I’m not surprised by how I’ve done this year,” said Corkill. “I have a real good partner who ropes real well. I expected to do well this year

“We decided this last October. He’d asked me earlier, but when my grandpa got hurt… Chad is a great cowboy. We have a good time and a lot of fun together. It’s been a lot of fun.”

The chemistry of the pair is good, and barring injury, Corkill should realize his dream of making the NFR.

“I didn’t miss by much that first year,” Corkill said. “I did get rookie of the year, but one of my goals was to make rookie of the year and reach the NFR. One out of two isn’t bad.”

Corkill won $34,195 back in 2006, and he’s already at $38, 391 this year.

“I have 45 rodeos left this year,” he said. “My chances are pretty good.”

Corkill didn’t leave Reno empty-handed, however. He managed to win $2,400 unofficial money in the Bob Feist Invitational roping event.

The Fallon native is looking forward to being in Pecos on Saturday.

“It’s a real good rodeo,” Corkill said. “The last time I was there, I placed in day money and was fourth in average.”

Corkill, who is sponsored by Wrangler Jeans, Pro Choice Ropes, Day Money Roping Supply and Ken Dewar of Pacific Pride, said he’s unsure of what the future holds.

“I want to do this as long as it makes sense,” he said. “With the cost of fuel … I’m just glad I have sponsors.”

Corkill did hint that having a family could change things down the line.

“If and when I have kids, I wouldn’t want to miss out on that (by being on the road all the time),” he said.

Corkill’s family has given him plenty of support over the years. In fact, his mom is driving his rig to Pecos and Santa Fe for the next two rodeos.

“She likes to go,” said Corkill, a former Nevada state champion. “If it’s just a day or two, she’ll do that. If it’s a longer trip, there are times when we’ll hire a driver to meet us at the site while we fly there.”

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281

THE CORKILL FILE

Age: 20

Hometown: Fallon

Event: Team roping

Career earnings: $59,704 in 2006 and 2007