WC Rodeo, coach looking forward to ‘exciting’ season

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

WC Rodeo 2013-14 season preview

For nine consecutive seasons, the Weatherford College rodeo team has sent at least one competitor to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo.

Second-year head coach Johnny Emmons feels there's a strong possibility things could change this season.

Emmons believes the Coyotes could be sending an entire team, perhaps even two (men and women) to Casper next June. Both the men and women are at their strongest in years, he said.

"It's kind of expected of us now," Emmons said of a nationals appearance. "I think we have one of the most talented teams in the region. Our depth is very strong, we have good experience, along with some outstanding freshmen, so I am not only thinking about getting someone there, I am thinking of the 'how many' potential.

"The most we have ever sent in one year is three contestants. I am thinking that record may be in jeopardy this year."

MEN

The Coyotes have numerous highlights among their returners, most notably sophomore Landon Williams.

Williams became the 23rd member of the WC program to advance to the CNFR when he got there in team roping last season with former WC standout Cadee Tew. This season, he is roping with Cadee’s younger brother, Casey, a freshman. Older brother Cody Tew won WC's first national title in 2007 (team roping).

Williams will also calf rope.

"Landon is a team leader, very competitive in both events, and I expect him to qualify for the CNFR in both events this year," Emmons said.

Others returning for the men's team include Kody Mahaffey (team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling), Jared Parsonage (team roping, calf roping, bull riding), Weatherford product Colten Rundell (steer wrestling) and Paul Melvin (steer wrestling).

Mahaffey was second on the team in points accumulated.

"I expect him to be among the all-around leaders this year and to qualify for CNFR," Emmons said.

Likewise for Parsonage, who suffered a broken ankle in the final rodeo of his freshman season in 2012. Even so, he finished sixth in the tough Southwest Region in bull riding that season and came back to score the third most points on WC's men's team last season.

In rodeo, athletes can compete for a community college for three years before moving on.

"He is healthy now, roping very well, back in shape and riding bulls well," Emmons said. "And I expect him to contribute points in all three events."

Rundell and Melvin each made the short go in three of the final four rodeos last season. They are also each ranked in the top 15 in the United Professional Rodeo Association, and Emmons said they are looking extremely strong entering the season.

Among the men newcomers, Emmons is counting on strong contributions from Lane Livingston (calf roping, team roping), Weatherford's Seth Cooke (calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling), Aaron Macy (team roping, calf roping), Forrest Fisher (team roping, calf roping), Cole Wheeler (team roping) and Casey Tew (team roping).

Macy is the 2013 Texas Cowboy Rodeo Association champion team roper and won the 2013 Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping competition (a major professional roping event).

"Winning at the pro level, Macy is one of the most outstanding team ropers in college rodeo," Emmons said.

Emmons said he looks for Livingston to make a strong run at the CNFR, and for Cooke to be a threat in the Southwest Region All-Around standings. Fisher is winning regularly in the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association regional competition in Southwest Texas and Louisiana.

And he's confident Tew and Wheeler will also win at the college level.

"The strength of our men's team is the overwhelming talent in the timed events,"Emmons said. "I believe we may very well have the best team of calf ropers, team ropers and steer wrestlers in the Southwest Region. Our freshmen bunch is outstanding. We have a very talented, now experienced sophomore group too.

“I really feel like in my nine years of working here at WC (previously as an assistant coach) this is the best men's team we have ever had. I am very excited about next year as these freshmen mature. I think we are looking at a couple of very successful years with this group."

WOMEN

As for the women, returner highlights include Deven Riggins (Weatherford High, breakaway roping, goat tying, barrel racing), Sarah Ingle (goat tying, breakaway, barrel racing), Amelia McGuire (team roping, barrel racing, breakaway), Brooke Sully (Millsap, barrel racing, breakaway, goat tying, team roping), Lexi Heater (barrel racing), Kylee Hamilton (breakaway) and Bailey Vickers (breakaway, goat tying).

Riggins led all WC freshmen women last season and has nearly every major "open" breakaway roping competition around Texas and New Mexico the past couple of years.

"She will be a contender for the women's Southwest Region all-around championship this year," Emmons said. "With a year's experience, and a world of talent, she is definitely favored to make the CNFR this season.

"Sarah is another with a lot of talent, and with a year's experience behind her, I look for Sarah to help lead the women's team to the CNFR. Amelia, Brooke, Lexi, Kylee and Bailey all found some success last year, and I look forward to seeing them improve this year."

Among the newcomers for the women, Taryn Parsonage has made the trek from Canada to join her older brother Jared. She is a four-time National High School Finals qualifier and two-time Saskatchewan All-Around Cowgirl.

"Great work ethic, awesome goat tyer and barrel racer," Emmons said.

Riley Chown is the 2013 American Quarter Horse Association Youth World Champion in Cow Horse, and is a former United Professional Rodeo Association finalist in barrel racing. Emmons also expects her to be competitive in breakaway roping.

Skylar Ragan is a former national high school champion and Emmons looks for her to be a threat in the All-Around standings. Goat tyer Rileigh Harper was a winner at the Texas High School State Finals, and is a former Region X All-Around Cowgirl.

Emmons said Jamie Parvin may be the biggest surprise of all walk-ons.

"She looks extremely competitive in goat tying and also breakaway," he said.

And, of course, he said he is looking forward to Italian Francesca Riccardi competing on American soil for WC.

"For the women's team, I think our biggest strength is their experience," Emmons said. "We have a lot of returners and just a few freshmen this year, but all are very talented.

"I'm hoping these girls from last year will focus and work off of their experience, get a good start on the year and maintain throughout."

REGION

"The Southwest Region is by far the toughest region in college rodeo," Emmons said.

The region consistently has strong showings at the CNFR, and WC year-in and year-out is ranked among the top 50 percent in the region. Three times in the past six seasons the WC women have finished third out of 15 teams, narrowly missing a team berth at nationals (the top two advance).

And all signs are pointing to the men improving on their eighth-place finish last season. The women finished seventh.

"It's rodeo, and anything can happen," Emmons said. "But one way or another, Weatherford College will be well-represented by an entire roster of 45 hard-working, dedicated students who are all outstanding kids that I am very proud of.

"And if we win, well that's just a bonus."

WC men win first rodeo event of the year

The Weatherford College men’s rodeo team got the new season off to a great start, taking first place in the Eastern New Mexico University Rodeo Sep. 19-21.

The Coyotes finished with 470 points ahead of Tarleton State University (345) and Western Texas College (310).

Williams led the way by winning the All-Around Cowboy title with 290 points. The Midland native won first in team roping with WC freshman Casey Tew and took second in tie-down roping. Williams qualified for last year’s College National Finals with Tew’s older sister, Cadee.

Macy won the tie-down roping championship, coming back from eighth place to win the title.

Cooke finished third in steer wrestling, Melvin took fifth and Mahaffey won sixth place. Mahaffey also contributed to the team victory by placing fifth in the first round of tie-down roping. Livingston and Murphy qualified for the final round in team roping, finishing tenth.

The WC women’s team took fourth place overall. Ragan and Riggins took fifth and sixth, respectively, in barrel racing. Riggins also placed among the top 10 in goat tying.

“I thought everyone competed and represented well,” Emmons said. “We have a good team, and should be very competitive this year. We had five freshmen make the finals at their first-ever college rodeo, and two of them won first! I am very proud of that, and we are looking forward to an exciting year.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?