WC Rodeo Preview: Coyotes hope to build on best season in school history
When a program has been to national competition for a dozen consecutive years, the word rebuilding is typically replaced with reloading.
And as the Weatherford College rodeo team prepares for another season and its quest for a 13th straight trip to the College Nationals Finals Rodeo in June, coach Johnny Emmons is once again optimistic.
And why not? Traditions such as the one at WC lend themselves to high expectations.
"I think WC will be strong on both teams (men and women)," Emmons said. "I am really excited about our girls team being stronger this year, and I think while being hard to replace Lane Livingston, Casey Tew, Cole Wheeler, Seth Cooke and some of the others we lost, we do have a very talented freshman group of guys coming in, and with the experience of our returners, I am looking forward to a great year."
Returning for the ladies is Aspyn Dent, a sophomore who reached the CNFR in goat tying last season. However, Emmons said she has a torn MCL and will have surgery in mid-October when the fall rodeos are completed.
"I look for Laramie Zant and Madison Brown to step up and have good year in goat tying. I think Chelsea (Stodghill) and Callie (Davenport) will do well in barrel racing, and all of them are talented ropers.
"For the guys, all of our returners are capable of making the CNFR."
The team begins the fall portion of the schedule Sept. 15-17 at the Eastern New Mexico University Rodeo in Portales, New Mexico.
Other top returners for the women are Krista Emmons, Shaynee Monchamp, Lizzie Vaughn, Cheyenne Jinks, and Mattie Bass, all of whom coach Emmons said "are competitive."
Top returners for the men are Rody Ballard, Pace Blanchard, Chase Chambers, Jace Davis, Oscar Espaillat, Chad Faust, Grady Payne, and Conner Riddle.
New recruits for the 2016-17 season include:
- Sloan Anderson Whitehorse, South Dakota; All-around.
- Martha Angelone; Bedias, TX; Roper.
- Jasie Ballard; Combine, TX; Ropes and goat tying.
- Marki Cleveland; Iowa Park, TX; Barrel racer.
- Kelsey Espenson; Hart, TX; Roper and goat tying.
- Brogan Macy; Post, TX; Roper and barrel racer.
- Emily Mangione; Nipomo, CA; Barrel racer.
- Sadye Simpson; Nemo, TX; Barrel racer and roper.
- Madison Sullivan; Poolville, TX; Barrel racer.
- Wynn Todd; Weatherford, TX; Roper.
- Garret Jacobs; Lemitar, NM; Calf and team roper, steer wrestler, reigning all-around
champ at the International Finals Youth Rodeo and reserve all-around champ at the
National High School Finals.
- Chantz Webster; Weatherford, TX; Roper, former Texas State High School champ.
- Brady Barron; Mineral Wells, TX; Calf and team roper.
- Baize Bowers; Wall, TX; Team roper.
- Gage Davis; Midland, TX; Team roper.
- Luke Harper; Goldthwaite, TX; Calf and team roper.
- Cooper Hatley; Hermleigh, TX; Team roper.
- Jhett Jackson; Quitman, TX; All-around, roper and steer wrestler.
- Brayden Parker; Palo Verde, AZ; Roper.
- Bryce Stodghill; Pine, AZ; Roper.
- Cade Tanksley; Hondo, TX; All-around roper and steer wrestler.
- Brinan Varian; Parkfield, CA; Team roper.
- Zach Varian; Parkfield, CA; Team roper.
- Jared Wakefield; Weatherford, TX; Team roper.
by Rick Mauch