Erich Rhodeback

Erich Rhodeback, who graduated from Mount Vernon High School in May, shows a rabbit during the Knox County Junior Fair Showman of Showmen competition on Wednesday, July 29, 2021. Rhodeback went on to win the competition.

MOUNT VERNON -- Winning a Division I state track championship would be enough for most high school seniors.

They might go home and rest for a day or two. They might consider their amateur careers complete – a chapter closed on the highest note possible.

But not Mount Vernon’s Erich Rhodeback.

He went straight back to the barn, where he’d spent so many long nights over the last eight years. He continued to work with his goats, sheep and cattle.

He had unfinished business to take care of. And on Thursday, all that hard work paid off.

Rhodeback added a final jewel to his already-glimmering crown, being named Showman of Showmen at the Knox County Fair. The award honors the Junior Fair exhibitor who displays superior showmanship abilities – not only with their qualifying species, but also with every other species on the fairgrounds.