Briercrest Christian Academy Student Wins Rodeo Championship
We are thrilled to announce that Kavis Drake (BCA) has earned the prestigious title of 2023 Maple Leaf Circuit Overall Header in the team roping event. The 17-year-old rodeo prodigy gave an exhilarating performance at the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals, securing not only two round wins but also an aggregate title and the much sought-after Finals Champion title. Drake accumulated enough points throughout the four rounds to seize the Overall Circuit Championship on the head side.
Team roping is a riveting rodeo event involving two cowboys—the "header" and the "heeler." The header begins by roping the steer's head, then securing the rope to his saddle and turning the steer left. This manoeuvre sets up the heeler, who then aims to rope the steer's hind legs. This collaborative effort requires precision, speed, and excellent teamwork. The competition took place in the Brandt Centre in Regina, SK, on November 22-25, 2023.
In Regina, Drake was up against tough competition, including a top-ranked header from Crossfield, Alberta. But, undeterred by the challenge, Drake's performance in the finals was nothing less than extraordinary. He partnered with Denim Ross to secure victory in the first round, won the second round, and triumphed once again in the final go-round. Kavis and Denim together clinched the aggregate with an impressive combined time of 13.4 seconds on three steers. Both Kavis and Denim significantly advanced their standings in the sport, with Kavis's total circuit earnings catapulting him to new heights.
In a recent interview with Around the Saddle Horn, Kavis reflected on his success with humility, saying, “Obviously, it feels good. Coming into the Finals, it felt so far, being only 17. Winning two rounds, the average, the Finals, and the Circuit overall—it was like WOW. I wanted to do well, but not those kinds of expectations.”
When asked about his plans for next year, Kavis expressed his ambition to win a Canadian Championship—a goal that seems increasingly attainable, given his recent winnings. Looking further ahead, Kavis has set his sights on the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, demonstrating the same dedication and drive that we value at Briercrest.
We've gleaned key points from the circuit coverage provided by Around the Saddle Horn to bring you the highlights of the Kavis and Denim's event. You can read the rich details and captivating stories shared by Around the Saddle Horn's Facebook page here:
"Kavis Drake and Denim Ross, a young rodeo duo, made a splash at the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals. After a setback in Round #3 due to a crossfire call, the pair promised a strong comeback in Round #4. In an event where other team ropers faced numerous obstacles, Drake and Ross showcased their skill and determination. They performed an impressive run, delivering the fastest time of the week with 3.9 seconds. This outstanding performance not only won them the final round but also elevated them to first place in the average.
In the end, Drake and Ross emerged as the Maple Leaf Circuit Finals Champions. Their victory in Regina would have also secured them a place in the NFR Open; however, Drake was unable to attend due to his age. Their success at the Brandt Centre has set high expectations for their performance in the upcoming 2024 CPRA season. The journey of this promising duo is one to watch closely in the future."
We had the opportunity to sit down with Kavis and gain some insight into his journey.
When asked how he manages to balance his academics at BCA alongside his rodeo pursuits, Kavis conveyed his appreciation for the support he receives from the school. "BCA is quite understanding; they are supportive of what I want to do," he said. "I grind out my homework during the week because my weekends are dedicated to rodeo."
Kavis has been in the rodeo circuit for as long as he can remember. He won his first “dummy” roping when he was just 21 months old. Drake's ties to the rodeo circuit run deep, with his father being a roper, his mother training horses and participating in barrel races, and even his little sister involved in barrel racing.
Reflecting on a significant challenge he faced last year in his rodeo career, Kavis shared, "It was my first year going to pro-rodeos, and I quickly realized that I needed to work harder and strengthen my work ethic. So, I focused on improving throughout the winter, which has led to where I am today." Kavis had four years of experience in amateur rodeo before entering the pros last year.
When discussing his unexpected victory in the finals and its impact on his future goals, Kavis expressed, "I set a big goal for myself, but winning so big was beyond my expectations. I'm only 17 years old, and I was going against the best guys in Canada." Kavis competed, expecting to do his best, but didn't expect to make it so far because of his age. This experience reaffirmed to him that hard work truly pays off, regardless of age or background. In his words, "It just made me realize that with hard work, you can do anything, really."
Kavis also had some sage advice for fellow BCA students aspiring to excel in their chosen fields while maintaining their commitment to their faith and education. "Just work hard," he urged. "Hard work beats talent; talent doesn’t work hard. You’re not going to get to the top of your game if you’re not going to work hard. Talent can only take you so far, so you've got to work hard to do it."
We reached out to Corrie Lewis (Briercrest Christian Academy Principal), who was equally proud of Kavis's achievements. "BCA is incredibly proud of Kavis. Over 30 of us had the privilege of cheering him on in person. He represented himself with humility and dignity, as we knew he would. We truly believe Kavis has a bright future ahead of him, and we will be cheering him on as it unfolds."
As a part of the BCA community, Briercrest College and Seminary heartily congratulates Kavis Drake on his extraordinary accomplishments. We're eager to see how God will further guide his talents in his future endeavours, especially within the vibrant world of rodeo. Let's rejoice in his achievements and anticipate the wonderful things God has in store for him.