Oct 29, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorPAVILLION -- Josee Vogel has produced a stellar high school athletic career at Wind River High School. The multi-sport athlete is one of the top cowgirls in the state.
The senior decided the next step in her career will be on the University of Wyoming women's rodeo team. She signed a national letter of intent last week. Vogel will enroll full-time at UW in the fall of 2014.
"I talked to the rodeo coach when I went on my college visit," Vogel said. "The earlier that you get an offer from him, the more money you get."
George Howard is the head coach of the University of Wyoming rodeo program. Wyoming competes in the Central Rocky Mountain Region.
"I have always wanted to go to a four-year university," Vogel said.
Vogel was a track standout for Wind River before turning her attention to the rodeo events.
"Rodeo has always been my favorite," Vogel said. "I have always done it since I was younger. I feel that is where I'm going to be the most competitive at the college level. Sports in Class 2-A are tough, but it's hard to compete against kids from bigger cities that I will be going against at the college level."
Vogel is now a title contender in the goat tying event after qualifying last year for the National High School Finals rodeo in Rock Springs.
"I think that I have progressed a lot, especially since I stopped running track," Vogel said. "I have been able to have a lot more focus and a lot more drive. I have had a lot more time to focus on what I need to work on.
"It was good to get the experience on the big stage on the national level," Vogel said. "The competition is the best in the entire country. It was great to get that experience out of the way and hopefully be more competitive this year."
The fall season had three rodeos in Wyoming.
"I don't think that the fall season went as well as it could have," Vogel said. "Last year, I didn't have a very good fall either. I think this spring I will be ready to roll and come out swinging and get some points at the start of the year."
After the state rodeo in June, the top four make the NHFR.
"It's a really long time to go," Vogel said. "It's almost like two separate seasons. It's a long time for the horses to be off and for me to be off. I get a little bit rusty because there is basketball in between."
On the basketball court, Vogel is going to be a critical player for Wind River girls basketball coach Justin Walker.
She has been selected as a two-time all-conference player.
"I'm pretty excited," Vogel said. "I think that our senior class is going to be pretty tough. I'm excited to compete against the teams. I think that we have as good as chance as anybody."
Vogel makes it a point to be successful in the classroom. She has a 3.80 grade point average.
"This year all of my classes are college credits," Vogel said.
Vogel will have 27 college credits when she graduates from high school.
"School is incredibly important," Vogel said. "It's always the No. 1 thing that I'm focusing on. Nothing gets practiced until my homework is done."
Vogel wants to a get a degree in nursing from UW. The Wind River senior has been raised on a farm.
"It's busy living on a farm," Vogel said.
"There are chores inside the house.
We also have to take care of animals.
After basketball practice in the winter when it's cold and dark, we still have to feed animals."
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