Humble. That was the word used to describe Pleasanton High School junior Fisher Underbrink by Sandra McAda, one of the sponsors of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) at PHS in which Underbrink is president. “He is definitely a leader, never afraid to lead or pray in front of a crowd,” McAda said. On Dec. 14-16, Underbrink and his partner Breck Ward from Idaho were named the Average Champions of the Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In order to qualify for the Junior NFR, many ropings are held throughout the year all over the U.S. and is open to anyone in two different age groups: 15 and under, 16-19. Underbrink and his partner Ward were amongst the top 15 headers and 15 heelers to qualify to rope in Las Vegas. At the Junior NFR, each team is challenged to rope 5 steers over the course of three days. Fisher and Ward were the only team in the 16-19 age group to catch all 5 steers (1 on Thursday, 2 on Friday, 2 on Saturday) making them the Average Champions of the Junior NFR.
Underbrink had a fantastic time in Vegas, “the bright light city that never goes to sleep” as he said. “My favorite part was going to the NFR. One thing I learned is if you set your mind to something, you can accomplish anything,” said Underbrink.
“I never hesitate to ask anything of Fisher. He will always jump in and help where he is needed,” said McAda. This proved to be true as last Wednesday, Dec. 20 a cow strayed loose near the PISD campus. The Pleasanton Police Department contacted PISD Officer EJ Lozano who then pulled Underbrink from class to use his “mad roping skills” to rope it for them. “Before I read the student’s name who helped the police department, I just knew there was a good chance it was Fisher! Very fitting after his recent accomplishment at the Junior NFR,” said McAda.
When asked if he plans to pursue roping in the future, Underbrink commented, “I’m still young and plan on going to college. If I get a chance to go pro, I will pursue it.” Underbrink is also on the Varsity football team and Varsity golf team. He made it to regionals during his sophomore year last year.
Other local Pleasanton students who participated at the Junior NFR in Vegas were Cash Fretwell, Hunter Underbrink, Logan Moore and Emma Smith. Fretwell and Underbrink qualified in the 16-19 age group, winning the second round and placing 2nd in the third round. They ended up 10th overall in the average. Moore qualified and roped in the 15 and under division. Smith qualified in the senior barrel racing and won Reserve Champion. For more information about the Junior NFR or to view more results, please visit www.nfrexperience.com/juniornfr/.