Excellence in an unlikely sport-—rodeo—led to two athletic signings last week at North Buncombe High School.
Seniors Clara Hale and Cole Gillespie earned rodeo scholarships to their respective colleges; Hale to Erskine College in South Carolina to study Business Administration and Gillespie to Howard College to study Agriculture Science.
Clara Hale, the North Carolina High School Rodeo Queen, signed with Erskine College as a member of their rodeo team. Clara will compete in the events of breakaway roping and goat tying.
“I’m super excited about it,” said Hale about receiving the scholarship. “I think it’s a great opportunity!”
Clara is the daughter of Elizabeth and Matthew Hale.
Cole Gillespie is headed 20 hours by car to Howard College in Texas to steer wrestling, calf roping and team roping with the collegiate rodeo team.
“I feel blessed to be able to have the opportunity to spend the next two years out doing something most people don’t ever get the opportunity as I am,” said Gillespie.
Cole is the son of Michelle and Justin Gillespie.
Remarks from the Principal
North Buncombe High School Principal Dr. Samantha Sircey addressed family and friends gathered to celebrate the occasion, saying, “For Clara and Cole, I know this is a huge day for both of them. They’ve worked very hard. I don’t know how many rodeos submission forms…had to say ‘is this a good kid’ and all that over the years. It was never something I had to think about or hesitate, for it’s Cole and Clara who both exemplify what a good kid is. We’re proud of them, and we’re excited to see what happens next. Congratulations to both!”