A Brother’s Story

By Marla Sparks

Ethan Sparks is a homeschool high school senior at Catfish Bend Academy in Coushatta, LA.   He is the 19 year old son of  Corey and Marla Sparks of Marthaville.  He qualified and competed  in May at the Louisiana High School rodeo finals in both of his events Tie Down and Team Roping.  He earned his position on the Louisiana State National High School rodeo team and will be travelling with his fellow teammates to Rock Springs, Wyoming July 14-20 to compete in the 71st annual National High School Finals Rodeo in the Team Roping competition.  He will be roping with his partner Luke Dubois’ from Scott, Louisiana.

Featuring more than 1,650 contestants from 43 states, 5 Canadian Provinces, Australia and Mexico, the NHSFR is the world’s largest rodeo.  In addition to competing for more than $150.00.00 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR World Champion.  To earn this title, she must finish in the top 20 based on combined times in the first two rounds to advance to the Saturday final short round.  World champions will then be determined based on the three rounds combined times.

Again, this year Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch Highschool Rodeo tour telecast series on RFD-TV.  LIVE broadcast of each NHSFR performance will air online at http://www.RidePass.com.  Performance times begin at 7pm on July 14thand daily competition continues at 9am and 7pm through July 20th.

This is truly an amazing experience for every child who has qualified.  Along with great rodeo competition and a chance to meet new friends from around the world, NHSFR contestants enjoy many other activities while they are there, family oriented activities, contestant dances, daily jackpots, church services sponsored by Fellowship of Christian Cowboys,  shopping at the NHSRF tradeshow and the auction held to help the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.  You can follow online at NHSRA.com for the daily results of competition.

Ethan will be traveling and competing in Gutherie, Oklahoma at the National Little Britches Rodeo where he competed in the  Deep South Little Britches this year to earn his position at the National Little Britches Finals.  He finished the Deep South Little Britches winning the team roping heeler for the year, reserved champion and reserved all-around champion,  He will compete in the tie down roping ,the  ribbon roping with partner Levi Brown and team roping with partner Tyler Williams at NLBRA July 1-7.   He also will compete at the International Youth Rodeo in Shawnee Oklahoma before he heads to Rock Springs Wyoming for the National High School Rodeo.

Ethan plans to continue to work with the family business, Natchitoches Crosstie and Lumber and hopes to have his own business one day.  He too will continue his roping career.

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