by Mikayln Brickley
On July 18th to the 24th, high school students from all around the country will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to compete in the 2021 National High School Finals Rodeo. Among those students will be four of our own local athletes: Paige Palin, Devyn Hundley, Cash Trexler, and Cole Trexler.
“It’s a big deal,” said Kari Trexler, mother of Cole and Cash. “The state of Montana has some big competition, so for our kids to make it and to be able to go support them is amazing.”
Paige Palin, a junior at Corvallis High School, will be competing for the title of Queen – a term she is no stranger to. First entering the rodeo world at the age of 5, Paige has won five titles, including Ravalli County Queen and the Montana High School Rodeo Queen.
“To hold all three titles in Ravalli County is very special,” said Palin, but she’s not ready to quit just yet. Paige plans to stay in the rodeo world after high school, with hopes to attend the University of Montana and be on their rodeo team.
Next, heading to Lincoln to compete is Darby’s Devyn Hundley. At just 14 years old, Devyn will be participating in bull riding. Although he is one of the youngest of the bunch, Hundley has been doing this for around 8-10 years.
Throughout his time in the rodeo world, Devyn said that “meeting all sorts of people, and making new friends” has been the highlight. Despite being a freshman in high school, Hundley has already set big goals for himself. “I want to get my pro card, go to the PRC and then go to PBR when I’m older.”
Paige and Devyn will be joined in Nebraska by the Trexler brothers, Cole and Cash. Cash, the youngest of the two, will be competing in the calf roping and team roping. In what has been the first official year for these brothers to compete together, they are partners in the team roping event, and continue to push each other in and out of the arena. “It’s been really fun getting to practice all the time,” said Cash of his time spent with his big brother.
Cole, a senior at Corvallis High School, will be participating in bronc riding, as well as the team roping. With it being his last year of high school rodeo, Cole is looking to take home one last win, with his brother by his side. “It has been very cool competing with Cash, I just wish we had more time,” said Cole.
Cole will be attending Miles City Community College next fall, where he will be on the rodeo team and continue to do what he loves. Cole said, “I want to thank my parents, my grandparents, and everyone who has supported me along the way.”
“It’s very emotional,” said Kari Trexler. “It’s bittersweet. We are very excited for this last hoorah in high school rodeo, with the people we love the most and that have been there the whole time.”