For three short days last week, there was a noticeable increase in the number of people wearing jeans and cowboy hats in northern Cape Girardeau County.
For the third year, Flickerwood Arena just north of Jackson was the host for the Missouri High School Rodeo Championship. It brought together more than 100 top-rated teenage athletes from across the state to compete.
These students are stars in their own right. Take Brent Menz, a perennial favorite in the bull-riding championship who competes in several other rodeo events, too. A rodeo competitor since age 8, he's developed a following.
And then there's Sam and Evin Burke of Charleston, brothers who have been team roping for seven years, and Matt Boyers, a saddle bronc competitor from Poplar Bluff.
The Southeast Missourian profiled these four athletes, but there were countless other exciting stories for every athlete there. We hope the rodeo returns to the area again next year so we can enjoy the activities and competitors once more.