When Gonzales hosts the annual Texas Junior High Rodeo Association (TJHRA) State Finals on May 22-28 at JB Wells Rodeo Arena and Expo Center, expect to see several individuals with local ties competing against youth from all across the state.
This includes Addyson Kardosz, Morgan Culpepper, Audrey Thibodeaux, Tawni Kay Shelton, Hagen Brown and Wyatt Withers. Meanwhile, three other youth — Brody Browne, Barret Shelton and Buck Garza, will be competing at the Texas High School Rodeo Association (THSRA) State Finals in Abilene on June 4-11.
Kardosz, 14, is in the eighth grade from Gonzales and is a two-time qualifier for TJHRA State Finals. She will be competing in barrel racing, pole bending, and goat tying this year. Her parents are David and Sascha Kardosz, and her sister is Ashtyn Kardosz.
Her grandparents are Mary Caraway and the late Eddie Ray Caraway and the late Vonnie DuBose. Her extracurricular activities include rodeoing, playing volleyball, showing sheep and goats, and cheerleading.
Culpepper, a freshman homeschool student from Gonzales qualified for state at Region VII in the goat Thibodeaux qualified for Texas Jr. High Rodeo Association State Finals in pole bending, coming in first at Region VI; barrel racing (fifth), breakaway roping (fourth) and goat tying (sixth). She was the Region VI All Around Cowgirl. Audrey attends Shiner Catholic School and is the daughter of Amy and Chris Thibodeaux.
Tawni Kaye Shelton an 8th grader from region VI qualified and will compete in Girls Goat Tying and Light Rifle at TJHRA State Finals in Gonzales. This will be Tawni’s Third year to compete at the State Finals. During the year she also competes in Breakaway, Ribbons (partner Jayson Lee), 4-H, Volleyball, Cheerleading, Track in Hurdles and relay, shows pigs and commercial heifers. Tawni has had a full year rodeoing competing in Las Vegas, Ft. Worth and winning the Junior Girls Goat Tying at Circuit Finals in Waco. She is the daughter of Heather and JD Shelton.
Brown and Withers are eighth graders and qualified for team roping, placing eighth for the region. Hagen is the son of Tinker and Kimberlee Brown. Wyatt qualified for tie-down as well, placing third for the region. Wyatt is the son of John and Amber Withers. Both attend Gonzales Junior High School.
Browne qualified for Texas State High School Rodeo finals in team roping with his partner Ryder Harris. Brody is the son of Larry Browne and Fancy and Craig Morris. He is in ninth grade at Emmanuel Christian School in Gonzales.
David Barrett Shelton, a freshman from Region VI, qualified and will compete in Steer Wrestling and American Trap at THSRA Sate Finals in Abilene come June. Barrett also competes during the year in Team Roping (partner Ernie Gonzales), Tie-Down, State Champion in 2A Football FCA, FFA, 4-H, Fishing Club, shows pigs and commercial heifers and works at the Gonzales Livestock Market. Barrett is the son of Heather and JD Shelton.
The son of Amanda and Kenny Garza of Gonzales, Buck Garza qualified for state high school finals in the third position of team roping at Region VI with Landry Wren. Due to an accident, Buck will be roping with Rashaun Sidney of Halletsville at finals in Abilene.