Franzen Crowned Texas Jr. High State Champ Bronc Rider & Rookie of the Year

Former Sidney resident, Cye Franzen, recently was crowned Texas Junior High State Champion Bronc Rider and Rookie of the Year. I caught up with him on the road to Nationals in Perry, GA.

For his wins in Texas; Franzen took home a saddle, eight buckles, and several other prizes. While a competitor always hopes to add to their winnings, especially after an 18-hour drive to Nationals, he was looking forward to some sight-seeing as well. Little Rock, AR, and the ocean were two he wanted to experience.

At the junior high level of rodeo, bronc riding is done on steer, not a horse like we see at the high school, college, professional and open rodeo formats. To prepare for his event, Franzen rides the spur board, similar to a mechanic bull, but more for practicing a mark out. A mark out requires a rider to have both spurs touching the bronc's shoulders until the bronc's feet hit the ground after the initial step or jump out of the chute. Failure to do so results in disqualification. He also spends time on a bucking dummy, and rides practice steers.

Franzen also participates in team roping and breakaway roping, but steer riding is his favorite. He says it's "a lot of fun" and he really enjoys all the travel involved. Franzen had to say of his hours on the rodeo road, "I get to see places I never thought I would." At the end of that road though, the competition itself and the irreplaceable feeling of a win is at the heart of his passion for the sport. When asked if he had advice for fellow competitors, or someone looking to compete, his answer was quick and confident. "Practice, and just have fun!"

Good luck to Franzen and our other local competitors at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, this June 18-24.


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