Last year's seniors won't be eligible to compete in 2021 rodeo in Shawnee

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR) Event Director Dale Yerigan gives an update to the Shawnee Civic and Cultural Development Authority Board Thursday.

During a Special Call Meeting Thursday, the Shawnee Civic and Cultural Development Authority (SC&CDA) board voted on the issue of whether to allow 2020 high school seniors to compete in the 2021 International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and precautions, there was no IFYR event held last year, so some students missed out on that competition.

There was much discussion with IFYR volunteers and board members about the topic, Chairman Randy Gilbert said.

IFYR Event Director Dale Yerigan said though nobody wanted to deprive those students of what they deserve, there were concerns.

“2020 was a crazy year for everybody,” he said. “The consensus was real concern about where do you stop once you open that gate?”

Then, the freshmen and the sophomores and juniors think they got shorted a year, he said, so it just keeps going.

“The other discussion was the competition itself; are you going to let contestants that are in their first year of college — at that level and are more mature — come back and compete against (high school) Freshmen?” he explained.

The consensus was to not extend that, Yerigan said.

The board unanimously agreed, and voted so.

The IFYR will be held in July at the Expo Center in Shawnee.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.