When Scott Savastio of Three Rivers was looking for a fun sport to play with local kids, he thought why not an activity that teaches them about the area’s rich ranching heritage? Attending the Three Rivers Lions Team Roping in the past and seeing all the youth ropers enjoying dummy roping hatched a plan that he acted on.
Last year, under the auspices of the Three Rivers Union School Recreation Committee, “Three Rivers Rec Roping” was born. These Three Rivers School students practice together to learn how to rope a dummy steer and are taught the rules of the competition.
“In the first two years, we’ve had a dozen kids from the ages of 5 to 13 participate, so we’re off to a good start,” Savastio said.
The buckle was awarded by Jim Waggoner at the Lions Team Roping, just like in all the other competitions that take place during the four-day event.
Savastio reported that all the kids who competed in the Rec Roping in its inaugural year are back and with another year of experience under their, for now, buckle-less belts. Rec Ropers can choose to compete among their TRUS peers at the Roping in a competition set up especially for them or they may rope against the other kids in the respective female or male age groups in the Pee Wee Roping.
Savastio said his daughter, Maddy, 5, might choose to rope in the under-6 Pee Wee female group, but some of the other local kids prefer competing for a buckle in the exclusive TRUS Rec Roping event.
The TRUS competition will take place under the awning at Lions Arena on Sunday at 11 a.m. Stop by to cheer for the kids and see who takes home the buckle this year.
In addition to Savastio, who is an assistant coach, the kids are coached by Bill Drewry (head coach) and his daughter, Terri Blanke (assistant coach), along with assistant coaches Scott Doyle and Jason Hawes.