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SHSU Rodeo Team Qualifies
The SHSU women's rodeo team are regional champions, as is Trey Fisher (sitting). Standing are (from the left) Ginger Brigance, Stephanie Cook, coach Sonny Sikes, Delana Collins and Ceslie Burton.
Men and women cowboys and cowgirls from SHSU have participated in all but two of the NIRA's year-ending championships held since 1950.
This year four members of the women's team and one cowboy will represent the school that has racked up eight team and more than 40 individual championships, more than any other school in the NIRA. This year's competition is scheduled for June 16-20 in Rapid City, S. D.
This year's women's team, which qualified by winning the NIRA's Southern Region team championship, includes Ceslie Burton, junior from Trinity; Ginger Brigance, senior from Magnolia; Delana Collins, junior from Tomball; and Stephanie Cook, sophomore from Crockett.
Burton leads the team, having finished 2nd in barrel racing, goat tying and women's all-around. Brigance was eighth in barrel racing; Collins was ninth in barrel racing; and Cook was 12th in break-away roping.
Trey Fisher, senior from Madisonville, earned his trip as the Southern Region's champion bareback rider and men's all-around champion. He qualified in the all-around category by earning points in bull riding, saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling.
Also making the trip will be Sonny Sikes, who has coached SHSU rodeo teams since 1959, and Bobby K. Marks, Sam Houston president.
In addition to coaching team and individual champions, Sikes won both NIRA national finals roping events as a Sam Houston State student in 1953 and for many years was a key NIRA administrator on the national level. This year will also be a reunion for Sikes as the NIRA honors champions from 45, 40, 30, 20 and 10 years ago.
In addition to his winning performances 45 years ago, 30 years ago Sikes coached SHSU to the men's and women's national team championships.
A reunion will not be necessary for Sikes and one member of the 1968 men's team, however. Bill Burton, father of women's team member Ceslie Burton, was a calf roper and bareback rider on that team.
Bill Burton lives just a few miles from the SHSU campus and Sikes sees him often at events in which Ceslie competes.