Mike Terry, Deseret News
Chris Roundy of Panguitch falls to the ground during the Utah High School Rodeo Championships in Heber City.

HEBER CITY — Rhen and Kaden Richard are about as far from couch potatoes as two teens can get.

The brothers play football, baseball and rodeo year-round, and they do it without any sibling rivalry. And while it's hard for Kaden to say which is his favorite, Rhen made his favorite clear this year when he passed up the chance to play college football on scholarship at SUU, Snow or Oklahoma State so he can begin competing on the pro-rodeo circuit.

"My dad played college football and rodeoed when he got out of school, but he didn't care either way what I did," said Rhen, who just graduated from Union High. "My mom kind of wanted me to play football because she said I can rodeo my whole life."

Still, if Rhen Richard does as well on the PRCA as he's done this year in high school competitions, he's going to make a great living.

In a team roping contest that came down to hundredths of seconds, the Richard brothers earned the night's top time of 6:59 seconds. In the three state competitions, they averaged just under seven seconds, which earned them the team-roping state title.

Rhen Richard finished third in calf roping and will compete at the National High School Finals in New Mexico in both events.

The teens said they didn't rodeo much in the fall while they were playing football. And they had to juggle the spring schedule with baseball practices and games.

"We missed a lot of rodeos," said Kaden Richard, who will be a senior next year.

Rhen Richard said he didn't think he could juggle college football with rodeo, so he chose the sport he's most passionate about.

"College football you've got to live it," he said. "You can't do both."

The Richard brothers are easy-going for such a competitive pair and they claim they never blame each other if their team roping efforts fall short.

"It makes it easier (to compete) because we're brothers," said Kaden, who is the header. "We communicate real well."

And Rhen said his younger brother usually makes it easier on him.

"If the header sets it up right, the heeler has an easy job," he said with a smile.

Another set of brothers will represent Utah as the team tries to bring home the state's third consecutive National Championship next month. Jesse Wright, Spencer Wright, and Jacob Wright, all of Milford, earned first, third and fourth places, respectively, in the saddle bronc competition.

The bull-riding was also a nail-biter coming down to just a one-point difference between Justin Anderson, Juab, and Tim Bingham, Spikers, in the season's total, with Anderson earning the state title.

Both are sophomores, as is, fourth place finishers Wace Holmes.

"It was tight," Anderson said. "I was nervous, very, very nervous. It feels pretty good to win it, especially being only a sophomore."

Wasatch High's Shelby Maxfield won state titles in both barrel racing and breakaway roping.

The 2008 all-around cowgirl is Chyanne Thacker; reserve all-around cowgirl is Krystal Brown; and the rookie of the year is Destrilee Allred.

The 2008 all-around cowboy is Conner Atkin; reserve all-around cowboy is Jesse Wright; rookie of the year is Joe Frost.


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