November 27, 2020

State Champ bound for NHSRA Finals in Wyoming

(Franklin, GA) — A local rodeo stand-out is aiming for big things when he heads to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyoming July 17-23.

Heard County High School freshman Hadley Sanders will compete against the best in the nation after claiming a Georgia High School Rodeo Championship in Steer Wrestling at Perry, GA in May.

HHS Freshman Hadley Sanders will compete at the NHSRA Finals in Wyoming July 17-23

HHS Freshman Hadley Sanders will compete at the NHSRA Finals in Wyoming July 17-23

Sanders will also compete in Team Roping at nationals along with his roping partner Jacob Daniel. The duo scored a second place finish in Team Roping at state to earn the nationals birth.

Prior to nationals, Sanders will also compete in another huge event, the International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR) in Shawnee, Oklahoma July 10-15. The IFYR is the World’s Richest Youth Rodeo handing out over $200K in prizes.

The IFYR is an internationally recognized high school rodeo and events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. Sanders will compete in Steer Wrestling in Shawnee.

The state championship is quite an accomplishment for a freshman and Sanders credits several people with his success.

“My dad (Shane Sanders) has been there for me 24/7 in my rodeo career,” Hadley says. “He gives me the ability to ride amazing horses and get me up and down the road. Matt Oubre and Lance Ethridge have also been so important to me. They both have been there through the good and the bad and neither have ever given up on me.”

The 15-year-old hopes to win four state championships before his high school career is over. Sanders says winning state as a freshman is something he will never forget.

“It was unbelievable to win state. There was a lot of senior steer wrestlers that were pretty good, but my dad has sent me to a lot of big professional rodeos so I could get the pressure under my belt — so when I was at a high school rodeo I wouldn’t be so nervous because I had that experience going against grown men,” Sanders states.

“I also practice a lot so I had good confidence going in and confidence in any sport is the key to success.”

The 68th Annual NHSRA rodeo will bring to Wyoming approximately 1,500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces, and Australia. About 6,000 guests are expected for the huge rodeo event.


  1. Tesia McCormick says

    WOOO WHOOO ! Cowboy Up ! You are Awesome !!!! Proud of You !

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