— Courtesy of Weatherford College
First-year Weatherford College rodeo coach Johnny Emmons didn’t have to go far to find a good portion of his roster for the 2013-14 season.
Emmons has eight confirmations from Weatherford High School for next season, including the return of sophomore breakaway roper/barrel racer Riley Greene for a third season.
In college rodeo, athletes can compete at the junior college level for three seasons before moving on to a larger school.
Back for a second year will be four Coyotes, including Deven Riggins in barrel racing/goat tying, Madison Ward in breakaway roping/goat tying, and steer wrestlers Colton Rundell and Winn Williams.
Three newcomers from WHS will join the squad next season, bareback rider Ryan King, breakaway roper Anne Todd, and calf roper/steer wrestler Seth Cooke.
“I don’t ever remember us having this many from Weatherford High,” said Emmons. “It’s great to have this kind of talent right here at home.
“They all have a good chance to be on our points team (the group that travels to rodeos to compete). Half of our team could be from WHS.”
Six men and four women comprise the competitive team in college rodeo.
“This makes recruiting nice,” he added.
The WHS grads all have their own take on the prospect of continuing their student-athlete careers at WC:
Cooke - “It’s close, and obviously I’ve heard a lot of great things about the program and Johnny.” Cooke has been competing in the Texas High School Rodeo Association and garnered top all-around honors twice, as a sophomore and this season. He plans to someday compete professionally.
Todd - “They have a great rodeo team, and this is a way to get my basics out of the way and stay close to home. Their reputation is great.” She has made the finals in breakaway roping in the North Texas High School Rodeo Association each of the past two seasons.
King - “This is just a great program. I started about halfway through the year (injury), and had some catching up to do my senior season, but it worked out well.” He was third in the finals and sixth for the season in bareback riding in the NTHSRA. He also wants to rodeo professionally.
Rundell - “I like being close to home. I can practice a lot more than if I went somewhere else. Also, Johnny’s an excellent coach. He connects with everybody. Wynn and I started rodeoing together in high school and still are. It’d be nice if we all went to the finals next year.” He is a criminal justice major and wants to rodeo professionally, saying with a laugh, “I might have to work a few extra hours to do both.”
Williams - “We finished up pretty good. We had a better record the second semester, and hopefully we can carry that over into next year. I’m coming back because I like Johnny and he’s a great coach. I like steer wrestling because it’s a good adrenaline rush, and kind of a dying event.”
Ward - “Like most kids I wanted to get as far away from home after high school, but to my blessing it worked out that I came here. I think it’s just going to get better from here.” She wants to get into broadcasting, but stay connected with rodeo in some way.