Team Yeahquo

The Yeahquo Brothers: Living the Dream
The Yeahquo brothers talk big wins, education and the importance of family.
JC and LJ Yeahquo team roping at San Angelo.
Winning San Angelo earlier this year gave the Yeahquo boys a jump on their 2023 goals. | Andersen/CBarC Photography

If you don’t yet know Crescent, Oklahoma’s Yeahquo brothers, it’s time. Little brother and header Jeremiah Cole (JC), and big brother and heeler Luke Jarrette (LJ) have been making waves as world-class team ropers all year long, with wins from Rapid City, South Dakota, to Jackson, Mississippi, and San Angelo, Texas, to Oakley, Utah. Could this be the year Team Yeahquo—which is pronounced YAY-quo—makes its way to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo roster?

Q: It’s birthday month for both of you. JC will be 23 on September 14, and LJ will turn 24 on September 18. That means you’re the same age for four days every year. Is it true you’ve been team roping partners all your lives?

JC: Yes, it is. We’ve roped together ever since I was 8 and LJ was 9. Our dad started us both heading, and we both headed for the first month. Then Dad (Luke) picked the most mature one with a rope and horsemanship to be the heeler. 

Q: Who taught you two to rope?

LJ: Our dad and older brother (Jessy). Dad grew up riding bareback horses. He always had the dream of having rodeo cowboys for sons, and his plan was for us to team rope. We’re so close in age, because he wanted two of his boys to rope together. This was God’s will. 

READ: Yeahquo Brothers Take the Win at San Angelo

Q: You have more roughstock riders back in your family tree, right?

LJ: Yes, we have two great-uncles—Joe Chase and Pete Fredericks—in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City who were pretty dang great cowboys and rode bucking horses. Our whole family has done things in the cowboy industry, but we are the first to really rope. 

Q: Has this been a year of big wins or lots of little checks for you guys?

JC: This has been a year of big wins. We try to do the best we can at the big ones, and max out and go as fast as we can. If we draw a strong steer that we aren’t going to win good on, we’ll just catch our cow, nickel and dime ’em, and maybe win eighth, ninth or 10th with a jackpot-style run. I kind of have the same mindset as Andrew Ward. My partner doesn’t mess up. So if I do my job, we can win a little on a cow a lot of guys wouldn’t have caught. 

Q: Your family—which also includes your mom, Jennifer, and sister, Sierra—has a proud heritage in North Dakota. Tell us more about that, and how you ended up in Oklahoma.

LJ: Our parents are from MHA Nation, which is Mandan, Hidatsu and Arikara, and is also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes. Our whole family is from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in northern North Dakota. Our parents married young, and our dad took a job working for the union at the GM Plant in Oklahoma City. He loved it, and moved our family to Oklahoma when I was 1. There’s no telling what or who we’d be if our dad hadn’t left the reservation. 

LJ graduated from Oklahoma State in Stillwater in May with a bachelor’s degree in business. | Yeahquo family photo

READ: J.C. Yeahquo’s Jerry Braziel Heavy Chain Gag Bit 

Q: You’re both attending Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. What are your majors, and why is finishing college so important to you guys? 

JC: I’m a business marketing major, and will be a senior this fall. I plan to graduate next spring. Our dad has worked so hard his whole life so we could have a good education. 

LJ: I just graduated in May with a degree in business management, and will soon start on my master’s degree in business. I want to be an entrepreneur. We’ve done a lot of manual labor, and our parents have sacrificed so much for us. My mom said when I walked across that stage to get my diploma, my dad teared up. He didn’t go to college, so it meant so much to him. 

Q: How hard have you guys rodeoed professionally before this year, and what’s changed about Team Yeahquo to make this your breakthrough season? 

LJ: Our dad never rodeoed professionally, so we haven’t had much guidance on the ins and outs of rodeoing. Our rookie year was 2021, and as soon as we won a check, we bought our card. We should have been under someone’s wing, because we only went to about 15 rodeos. We didn’t know we should have waited until 2022 to give rookie of the year a shot. Had we waited, we would have won it, and we still kick ourselves in the leg over that. We’re still learning a whole bunch. 

Q: Did you guys grow up with cowboy heroes you looked up to?

JC: We never knew of anybody other than the 15 who made the Finals every year, so there was never anybody I tried to copy. I just roped for what it was, because I loved it. We never went and just watched rodeos. 

Q: What’s been the high and low of 2023 so far?

LJ: The high was winning San Angelo. It was the biggest win of our career, and what that one win could potentially bring us come the end of the season is pretty big. The low for me has been missing layups. There are some cows that you just can’t win on. When you miss those, it’s understandable and easier to let go. When I don’t do my job back there on steers my brother does a sweet job on and sets up really good, I’m pretty hard on myself. Those are cows you cannot afford to miss. 

LISTEN: Fourth of July with the Yeahquos on The Short Score

Q: Describe your team’s run and style.

JC: I grew up always trying to go as fast as I could. That’s been our run ever since we were pretty little—me going fast, and my brother heeling them as fast as he could. A lot of people grow up riding fast horses, and need to learn to use their rope. I grew up using my rope, so trying to go fast comes pretty easily to me. 

Q: What makes your brother the best partner for you?

JC: We’ve done everything together our whole lives. I don’t think I’d want to rodeo with anyone else. That’s it for me, just because I love him so much. 

LJ: I think JC’s a Top-15 header, and we’ve done everything together since we were babies. We don’t have to get to know somebody else. We’re partners in life, and we know each other so well inside and outside the arena. And now that we’ve been in the game a couple years, we have a much better understanding of how this all works. 

Q: If you could script the perfect ending to this storybook season for Team Yeahquo, how would it go?

LJ: It would be to capitalize at all these tour rodeos, and have enough money won at the end of the season to win a gold buckle. TRJ

Outside the rodeo arena, Team Yeahquo craves a good golf game. | Yeahquo family photo

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