By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Larned High School cowboy Nolan Allison has a busy weekend planned. Prior to portraying “Grady,” in the Larned High play, Allison will compete in a Kansas High School Rodeo Saturday and Sunday at the Pawnee County Fairgrounds.
Allison is the son of Kevin and Carrie Allison. He’ll compete in team roping with Brady Walker, the son of Jamie and Cindy Walker. They’ll both compete in calf roping and team roping Saturday afternoon. They compete in rodeos several weekends a month.
“It’ll be a pretty stressful Saturday with the play and rodeo going on,” Allison said. “But doing rodeo is my favorite activity and what I’m best at. I have chance to do something in rodeo and you meet really good people every weekend.”
Allison works with his horse “Joel,” and practices roping on a machine on the family ranch about 10 miles south of Larned.
The 6-foot-4 Allison starts in football and basketball and plays a saxophone in the band. The member of Stuco will also help prepare for the upcoming spring prom.
In team roping, the first roper is referred to as the “header,” the person who ropes the front of the steer, usually around the horns. The “heeler,” ropes the steer by its hind feet. Walker works as the header and Allison the heeler.
His dad taught him how to rope and Walker talked him into team roping.
“We enjoy it and we’re doing pretty well,” he said.
The family runs a herd of 300 black Angus cows for breeding. Allison plans to major in agri business and business management.
Walker, who has grown up with a rope in his hands, needed a roping partner.
“I’d seen Nolan compete before and I needed a partner,” Walker said. “It’s fun doing team roping and roping is something I’ve done my whole life. I’ve always had the ability to swung a rope. When we do well together, it’s an awesome feeling.”
Walker approaches the calf from the left side and Allison uses the right side.
“My dad tells me that the pressure is always going to be there, so you might as well get used to it,” he said.
Walker competes in football and performs in the school musicals. He also plans to major in agriculture with a future eye on cattle management.
Great Bend’s Colton Delgado is ranked first overall in bareback riding and Windom’s Jacob Willems is ranked second overall.
Other area entrants are Hudson’s Kayla Temple, barrel racing and girls cutting; Rozel’s Marti Faubion, barrel racing and pole bending; Stafford’s Ciera Houlton, breakaway roping and goat tying. Houlton placed fourth overall in goat tying in 2011.
The cutting horse events start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Other events start at 1 p.m. All events start at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Events scheduled are Girls Cutting, Boys Cutting, Bareback Riding, Girls Breakaway Roping; Calf Roping, Saddle Bronc, Goat Tying, Steer Wrestling, Pole Bending, Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding.
TAC, a 4-H Teen Action Club, will sponsor a dance for Larned USD 495 and Pawnee Heights USD 496 seventh through 12th grade students at the Haas Building Saturday.
A TAC spaghetti lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Haas building.
Qualifiers are eligible to compete in the Kansas State Rodeo Association championship June 7-10 at Hutchinson’s State Fairgrounds.