Cooper Bass of Brewster, Nebraska, got his start roping in the branding pen with a childhood friend. Fast forward to his junior year in high school, Bass earned the title of Nebraska All-Around Cowboy and is now preparing to compete at the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR).
Bass, who won the Nebraska High School state cutting event, also placed third in team roping with his lifelong teammate, Zack Bradley. The top four contestants/teams in each event qualify for the finals rodeo.
Together with Bradley, Bass said the two would like to win the national champion team roping title.
In the cutting event, the Brewster cowboy said he would like to place in the top ten. Last year, Bass finished 12th.
Bass said he is excited about the opportunity to compete at the finals in his home state.
“I’m glad we don’t have to travel a long way and it is going to be cool to see all the other states roll in,” Bass said. “Nationals is the reason I high school rodeo… It’s a good goal to have.”
As for the finals, Bass said it is difficult to imagine how large the event truly is.
“There’s a lot of people, a lot of really good cowboys and cowgirls that compete,” he said. “It is really fun at the night performances when it gets dark and you are under the lights. It really brings the pressure on and makes a good run feel amazing.”
The NHSFR will be held July 18-24, 2021 at the Lancaster Event Center Fairgrounds. The NHSFR will also take place in Lincoln in 2026 and 2027.
Tickets are available for pre-purchase or can be purchased at the event. Find more information at nhsfrlincoln.org.
Listen to an interview with Cooper Bass below!