State Rodeo finals rope in big audience

State Rodeo finals rope in big audience

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi High School and Junior High School State Finals Rodeo continued Wednesday and will run through Saturday.

When it comes to barrel racing, calf roping, and bull riding, these kids mean business.

"It's very hard work," said Ross Barnett of Poplarville. "I mean, it's nothing easy."

The rodeo is in its third year and is held at the Forrest County Multi Purpose Center. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 for Thursday's events and $10 for Friday's and Saturday's. The junior high performance will resume Thursday at 8 a.m. and the high schoolers return to the arena at 7:30 p.m.

The high school riding performance will continue at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and the finals will be Saturday at 7 p.m. A contestant will be selected on Saturday to take one of the top four spots representing the state in the national finals.

And for many folks, riding and roping is a family affair. This couldn't be truer for Frank Graves and his three children. Graves made a professional career out of roping and he says that seeing his kids ride is even better than winning himself.

"It's just a good place to raise your kids," said Graves, a national roping qualifier and champion team roper.

"I just like roping," said Bryce Graves, Frank's son. "It's all I've ever done."

You know what they say, a family that rodeos together, stays together.