Weatherford College Rodeo Coach Johnny Emmons can't wait for the new season to start, not just because last season was cut short, but also because the 2020-21 squad shows great promise.
"I think we have a very tough freshman group coming in," Emmons said, adding with a chuckle, "The sophomores will have to step up or the freshmen will take their spot on the team."
Notable returners for the Coyotes are Thane Lockhart, Hadley Miller and Kodey Hoss who were all in fourth place in the Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association in tie-down roping, bull riding and goat tying, respectively when the season was called off due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Also, Emmons noted that Parker Carbajal, Cash Enderli, Mason Pitts, Jesse Hines, Cash Fretwell, Trent Sorey, McKenna Hickson, Kinlie Brennise, Kaitlyn Woodman and Reagan Davis all placed on the leaderboard and were starting to hit their stride when the season was canceled.
"I'm very excited and looking forward to this coming year," Emmons said.
Freshman and new sophomore recruits for the coming season, at the time of this article, include:
Sophie Dunn, Odessa - Texas High School Rodeo Association Region 2 barrel racing champion. Also a solid roper.
Lilly Eakes, Cleburne - THSRA Region 4 breakaway roping champ.
Faith Furrow, Fort Mahave, Arizona - top barrel racer from that state.
Sawyer Gilbert, Buffalo, South Dakota - Top breakaway roper in state, qualified to The American Finals last year at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Bradi Good, Abilene - THSRA Region 2 champion barrel racer and breakaway roper.
Kendall Kennedy, Belle Glade, Florida - One of the top barrel racers in the state.
Sheridan Knight, Bakersfield, California - California High School Rodeo Association regional champion in breakaway roping and barrels.
Kristin Reaves, Bullard - Among the best in goat tying in the country, former state champion.
Robbin Rice, Sealy - THSRA regional champion breakaway roper.
Faith Ross, Lipan - Transfer from Cisco.
Londyn Ross, Bertram - Strong in barrels and roping.
Briena Wells, Le Mars, Iowa - Standout in breakaway and barrels.
Gracie Henderson, Aurora - Walk on, barrels.
Maddi Hickmon, Peaster - Walk on, breakaway and barrels.
Taylor Miller, Templeton, California - Team roper and steer wrestler, California state high school finalist.
Gracie Mann, Tehachapi, California - Barrel racer and goat tier, California state high school finalist.
Shelbey Eklund, Bulverde - Walk on, barrels.
Colton Greene, Rock Springs - THSRA region 2 champion all-around, calf roper and steer wrestler.
Zaine Mikita, Byers, Colorado - State champion calf roper.
Cutter Overton, Mineral Wells - THSRA Region 3 champion team roper.
Shane Sorge, Bismark, North Dakota - Strong calf and team roper.
Chance Thiessen, Elk City, Oklahoma - Ranked as one of the best calf and team ropers in the country.
Luke Williams, Millsap - State qualifier in team roping.
Grant Gilbraith, Dripping Springs - Team roper, Texas state high school finalist.