With one bit of history already under its belt, the Weatherford College men’s rodeo team is seeking to create even more.
In May, the Coyotes became the first rodeo team to qualify from WC after nine straight years of the program sending individuals to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).
Now, if the men’s team can capture the championship in Casper, Wyo., they will be the first WC team to bring home a national title — in any sport.
CNFR competition begins Sunday and runs through June 21. The Coyotes qualified by finishing second to Tarleton State in the Southwest Region.
“It wouldn’t surprise if we are in the running,” said Head Rodeo Coach Johnny Emmons. “You get up there and every team has six that count.”
The six going from WC are sophomores Landon Williams (Midland, Tex.) in team roping and calf roping, Jared Parsonage (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada) in bull riding and Kody Mahaffey (Sweetwater, Tex.) in steer wrestling. The freshman contingent includes team ropers Aaron Macy (Post, Tex.), Cole Wheeler (Flint, Tex.) and Casey Tew (Billings, Mont.).
Parsonage said the WC tradition, which includes national champion team roper Cody Tew in 2007 and 2008 Women’s All-Around and reserve team roping champion Arena Robertson, will serve as inspiration.
“It’s pretty cool being part of the first team to ever go,” said Parsonage. “Everybody will be really motivated to win, as it’s a pretty neat opportunity to go to the college finals, especially out of the Southwest Region.”
The Southwest Region is generally considered the toughest in the nation.
This season, the Coyotes competed in 10 rodeos, winning three, finishing second three times, and were third-place on two occasions.
“I think our chances are really high to win nationals as a team, and individually,” said Mahaffey. “We’ve done well all year and plan on finishing it up at nationals.”