Weatherford College's rodeo history has included many trips to the College National Finals Rodeo, nine consecutive years with at least one qualifier, in fact.
But the school has yet to send an entire men's or women's team to Casper, Wyo. for the annual event in June. That could change this year.
As the second half of the season gets under way, the Coyotes are in third place in the Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association with 1,485 points.
Tarleton State has a substantial lead in the standings with 2,320 points, with Odessa College second at 1,550. The top two teams after the regular season qualify for nationals, and WC coach Johnny Emmons believes his team is set for a second-half surge that could get them there.
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"I think we've got a real good shot if we keep doing what we're doing," Emmons said. "The exciting thing is we have two or three guys who didn't have a great first half, but they've been doing great in open rodeos [during the break]. If that carries over, we'll be in great shape."
The Lady Coyotes enter the second half in fifth place with 527 points. Eastern New Mexico leads with 1,125 and Texas Tech is second with 922. The Lady Coyotes also have to leapfrog third-place Tarleton (762) and South Plains (680).
"It's going to be a little tougher for the girls, but it's do-able," Emmons admitted. "It's the same thing with the girls. We've got several who I think will have a stronger second half."
Leading their respective events for the Coyotes are Casey Tew in team roping-header with 340 points, 15 points ahead of teammate Forrest Fisher with 325, while Landon Williams leads team roping-heeler with 340, also 15 up on Tarleton State's Colton Herrera.
Jared Parsonage, third in the Southwest Region in bull riding with 380 points, trails Cody Heffernan of Odessa (460) and Ty Wallace of Odessa (410). Parsonage is 12th nationally in that event.
"All the guys are aware of where we're at as a team," Emmons said. "And I am excited about Jared, having a great chance to be our first bull rider to make nationals."
Tew and Williams are each 18th nationally in their respective events.
"Our region being the toughest in the nation, our kids don't dominate the national standings like some other regions do, so that's not a true reading of how good they really are," Emmons said. "Those can be misleading, but when they get to nationals they show how good they are."
Also ranking high among the men are Aaron Macy, second in tie down roping (240 points, 130 behind Billy Brown of Tarleton) and Paul Melvin, second in steer wrestling (300 points, 30 behind Colton Hancock of South Plains).
The highest ranking Lady Coyote is Riley Chown, who is second in breakaway roping with 200 points, 100 behind Taylor Smith of Eastern New Mexico.
Also ranked in the top 15 in their respective events for WC as the second half of the season begins are:
• Williams, ninth in tie down roping, 120 points.
• Kody Mahaffey, tied for 11th in tie down roping, 220 points; 11th in steer wrestling, 130 points
• Seth Cooke, tied for 14th in tie down roping, 100 points; tied for fifth in steer wrestling, 180 points
• Cody Harmon, tied for fifth in steer wrestling, 180 points
• Cole Wheeler, fifth in team roping-header, 215 points
• Lexi Heater, tied for sixth in barrel racing, 160 points
• Skylar Ragan, tied for eighth in barrel racing, 150 points
• Devin Riggins, 10th in breakaway roping, 117 points
• Jamie Parvin, 13th in breakaway roping, 100 points
• Taryn Parsonage, eighth in goat tying, 165 points.
WC nearing first team nationals berth in rodeo
With only three rodeos to go, Weatherford College is in position to send a team of six men to the CNFR for the first time in school history.
After the Ranger College Rodeo in Brownwood March 27-29, the WC men’s team is in second place in the Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, 500 points ahead of third place Odessa College. Tew, Williams and Melvin are all leading their events in the Southwest Region standings, while Jared Parsonage is currently second in Bull Riding.
Aaron Macy, Mahaffrey, Cooke and Wheeler will battle it out for the final two spots on what could be a Casper-bound team in June.
Weatherford has sent individuals to the CNFR for nine consecutive seasons, but no team from WC has ever qualified for Casper.
In Brownwood, Tew and Williams won both rounds in Team Roping. The duo has now won three rodeos this season, including the Eastern New Mexico, Vernon and Ranger rodeos. They finished second in Odessa.
Williams is in position to become only the third cowboy in WC history to qualify for the CNFR twice (Timber Moore in 2005-06 and Clif Cooper in 2008-09).
Melvin won first place in Steer Wrestling, moving him from fourth to first in the regional standings with only three rodeos to go. Cooke finished sixth, and Colten Rundell won ninth.
Tew, Williams and Melvin combined for 520 points to place the WC men in second for the weekend.
Riley Greene came from tenth to finish fourth place for the weekend in Barrel Racing. Greene had the third fastest time of the finals. In Goat Tying, Sarah Ingle finished eighth and Bailey Vickers finished ninth overall.
Up next this weekend will be the Western Texas College Rodeo in the Scurry County Coliseum in Snyder.
WC men win Odessa rodeo, Parsonage wins All-Around
The Weatherford College Rodeo Team had a big weekend at the Odessa College Rodeo March 20-22. The WC men’s team finished first and the women’s team finished third out of 15 teams overall.
Leading the way for the men was Jared Parsonage, winning the men’s All-Around title. The Canadian cowboy took first in Bull Riding and sixth in Team Roping (with former WC student Chance Gasperson from Texas Tech). Parsonage has now placed third or better at the last four rodeos. He is leading the NIRA Southwest Region in Bull Riding.
Tew and Williams continued their winning ways in Team Roping by winning the first round and finishing in second place for the weekend. Tew leads the header regional standings, while Williams is number two in heeling. Aaron Macy teamed with Colton Herrera (TSU) to win the event at Odessa, while Parsonage and Gasperson finished sixth.
In Steer Wrestling, Mahaffey won second in the finals and third overall to move up to seventh in the regional standings, while Harmon won fifth and Rundell finished sixth.
In Tie-down Roping it was freshman Rody Ballard picking up fourth place for the weekend.