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Meet the Member Kassie Adams
story by Michele Toberer
As a third-generation cowgirl, 18-year-old Kassie Adams fully enjoyed competing in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association all 4 years of her Jefferson West High School rodeo career. Multi-tasking was at the forefront through these years as she not only competed in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, and breakaway roping; but also, was an active member in multiple clubs and associations at school. “I was involved in student council, FFA, the National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Big Brother and Big Sister program, the yearbook committee, and I played tuba in the band.”
Kassie lives in Meriden, Kansas with her parents, Brian and Stacie, and she has an older sister, Shanie, who is 20. Brian works as a farmer and rancher on the family’s ranch where they raise Black Angus cattle and grow crops. Stacie works in insurance for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. Brian competed in ranch rodeos for several years, and Stacie as well as her sister Christy Mercer, showed AQHA Quarter Horses. Until Kassie was in 8th grade, showing horses was her main source of competition, but she joined the Kansas Junior High School Rodeo Association for the second half of her 8th grade year and never looked back. Kassie’s mom competed in rodeo through high school, and her grandpa, Squirt McNorton, was also a rodeo competitor back in his day.
Kassie’s favorite events are breakaway and goat tying, and during her four years with the KHSRA she finished in the top 10 in the state in multiple events. She qualified for national finals in light rifle shooting in both her sophomore and junior seasons. “My favorite part of the KHSRA is the family aspect that it has. You get so close with all of your competitors. We all have our serious face on in the arena when we’re competing, but we can hang out like siblings after. I like meeting new people at the rodeos, and it is always fun to travel.” Some of her fondest memories of the high school rodeos were Sunday mornings where she would sing at the cowboy church services led by Cory Young; and listening to Nickelback songs and The Name Game, by Shirley Ellis, with her dad on the way to rodeos. “It’s kind of cheesy, but my dad used to listen to it when he was in college on the way to ride bulls, and he played it one day on the way to a rodeo and I did great in all my events, so we made it a tradition to listen to it on the way to rodeos after that.”
Looking back, Kassie appreciates Jeannie Anderson and Jackie Van Petten for all of their help with barrel racing and pole bending. She also appreciates Jim and Colton Bond for helping her tremendously in breakaway roping. She has also gained a lot of positive information from listening to professional rodeo athletes like Tyson Durfey, “He’s so positive about everything and has a good attitude, and I think it’s important as rodeo athletes in such a serious sport as rodeo that we stay positive.”
Looking forward, Kassie is excited to start classes at Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma where she will compete on the rodeo team while studying human biology, with the hopes of becoming an emergency room doctor one day. She plans to use much of the experience she gained in high school to work towards her goals of making the college finals this season. “It would be awesome to make the finals, and I’m really focused on getting good grades so I can get an internship at a hospital next summer.”