As the regular season closed in Stephenville at the end of April, the Weatherford College men’s rodeo team made their year-long quest official, earning a berth in the College National Finals Rodeo. The Coyotes will compete at the prestigious event in Casper, Wyo., this summer.
Although WC has sent individuals to Casper every year since 2005, this is the first team berth in school history.
Landon Williams, a Midland native, is the reserve All-Around Cowboy champion for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Southwest Region. He also won the reserve championship for team roping-healer. Williams will compete in his second CNFR in both team roping and tie down roping.
Williams’ team roping partner in Casper will be Casey Tew, the region’s champion team roping header. The freshman from Billings, Montana is the third member of his family to represent WC at the CNFR; his brother, Cody, was the national champion header in 2007 and his sister, Cadee, won two rounds of breakaway roping in 2011.
Paradise native Paul Melvin will compete in steer wrestling. The sophomore won the Southwest Region championship and will be the first steer wrestler to ever represent WC in Casper.
Canadian sophomore Jared Parsonage will also break new ground as WC’s first bull riding competitor at nationals. Parsonage was the region’s reserve champion.
Cole Wheeler, a freshman from Flint, Tex.; and Aaron Macy of Post, Tex. will compete as team roping headers. Wheeler is partnered with Shay Carroll of Tarleton State and Macy will ride with Colten Herrera, also from Tarleton.
WC Head Rodeo Coach Johnny Emmons had some additional good news: he was named the Southwest Region Coach of the Year. Emmons served as WC’s Assistant Rodeo Coach from 2005 to 2012, when he took over head coaching duties. He’s had a good month, having been inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame April 12.
Four other WC competitors narrowly missed a CNFR berth. Kody Mahaffrey finished fourth in the region in steer wrestling, Brooke Sully of Lipan was fourth in breakaway roping, Weatherford High School graduate Deven Riggins was fifth in breakaway roping, and Skylar Ragan was fifth in barrel racing.
The 66th CNFR is scheduled for June 15-21 at the Casper Events Center. The top three competitors in each event and the top two men's and women's teams from the NIRA's 11 regions qualify.
-Brent Baker, WC