Meet the Member Ty Stevens
story by Ruth Nicolaus Ty Stevens competes in the roping events and the light rifle shooting in the Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association. The […]
story by Ruth Nicolaus
When it’s rodeo season, Jaya Nelson eats, sleeps and breathes rodeo. But when rodeo is over, it’s all about basketball.
A member of the Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association, Jaya lives in Bassett, Nebraska and competes in the breakaway roping, team roping (as a header for Tyson Stracke) the ribbon roping (as a roper for Hayes Hammond), and the barrel racing.
She also plays post on the Bassett Knights Junior High girls basketball team, which was undefeated last fall. Jaya, an eighth grade student, is 5’10” and hopes she isn’t done growing, which she probably isn’t. Her dad is 6’3” and her mom is 6’2.”
For her rodeo events, Jaya’s horses include Pork Chop (for the breakaway), Hooey (for the ribbon roping), Jett (a head horse), and Rookie, (her barrel horse.) Of all her horses, Pork Chop is her favorite.
In school, her favorite subject is social studies, in part because of her teacher, Mrs. Brooke Larson. Mrs. Larson is also her basketball coach, and Jaya likes her because “she is really funny and easy to get along with, and she pushes me, whether it’s in social studies, basketball, or rodeo.”
In addition to basketball, Jaya is a member of the speech club, FFA, and is on the Principal’s List honor roll. She doesn’t mind public speaking; stage fright doesn’t afflict her. She has participated in the Modern Woodmen Speech contest, qualifying for districts in sixth grade and finishing in third place her seventh grade year.
Lifting weights for basketball helps her in breakaway roping, “so I can get the power I need in my swing, and for basketball, so I have the strength I need under the basket, to make shots through the defense.”
Jaya loves to watch basketball as well as play it. Her favorite teams are the Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
She has a twin, brother Ty. The two do not look (or act) like twins, she said. He likes to play football, wrestle and run track, and he is shorter than she is.
This is her second year in junior high rodeo. She finished last year as the state champion breakaway roper, and in seventh place in the team roping. She gives credit to Jim and Riley Wakefield for helping her practice, and for assisting her with her horsemanship and roping skills.
When she grows up, Jaya would like to be a large animal veterinarian.
In addition to her twin brother Ty, she has an older sister, Ashly. She is the daughter of Kelby and Devon Nelson.
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.