As the second half of the rodeo season gets underway, Weatherford College is looking to extend one of the more impressive streaks to be found.
It’s a streak that began even as current competitors were still awaiting to begin elementary school - or even pre-K.
The WC rodeo program is seeking to send competitors to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper Wyoming June 12-19.
As a warmup to the second half of the season, several members of the Coyotes and Lady Coyotes will be competing in the San Antonio College Rodeo Showdown Feb. 9, including Sara Angelone in breakaway roping, Kodey Hoss in goat tying, Laney Fowler in barrel racing, Thane Lockhart in tie down roping, Corey Ryan in steer wrestling, and Jarett Freeman and Blake Bentley in team roping.
Lane Cooper, Bentley’s regular partner, is out with injury for San Antonio but plans to be back for Odessa on Feb. 20, when the second half of the Southwest Region competition begins.
Cooper and Bentley have their sights set on reaching nationals, along with winning the Southwest Region and setting a new team points record for a season. Currently, they have 475 points, with Cooper leading team roping-header and Bentley leading heeler. The team record for points in a season is currently held by Casey Tew and Landon Williams with 710 in 2014.
Cooper got kicked by a horse in the knee and required surgery, but plans on being back for Odessa, WC coach Johnny Emmons said.
“But if not then, he should be back by the second rodeo in March. They have a real good shot at making the CNFR. If they could place a couple more times, I think they would have it made,” Emmons said.
Cooper and Bentley scored points in all five first-half rodeos.
As for team standings, the WC men are fourth in the region at the midpoint with 1,158.33. Tarleton leads with 2,470, followed by Clarendon (2,020) and Western Texas (1,820).
The WC women are sixth with 437.50. South Plains leads with 900, with Texas Tech second at 785.
The top two teams and top three individuals in each event advance to nationals.
“We did not have a stellar first half, but we have had some bright spots along the way,” Emmons said.
Thane Lockhart is fourth in tie down roping, while Parker Carbajal and Tate Thomas are tied for eighth.
“If they could have two or three good rodeos in the spring they too would be a CNFR threat,” Emmons said.
Last year’s regional champ in tie down roping, Kasen Brennise, struggled in the event the first semester, but in team roping-header he is ranked seventh entering the second half.
“He has a new horse and is roping really good right now, so I am hopeful he will make a strong run,” Emmons said. “Cash Enderli and Cash Fretwell are also top ropers who could excel in the second half.”
Hadley Miller is ranked sixth in bull riding after placing twice in the fall. He is also threat in tie down roping, Emmons said.
Hoss is currently fourth in the region in goat tying.
“I expect her to have a strong comeback in the spring. She is one of the best goat tyers in the country, and I know her goal is to not only make the CNFR but win the Southwest region,” Emmons said. “Emily McDeavitt has also placed a couple times in the event and is a strong goat tier.”
In the fall, Hoss set a team record with a time of 6.1 seconds at the Vernon College Rodeo.
Sara Angelone is a serious threat in breakaway roping, currently sitting fifth in the region and having made the short round in three or the five fall rodeos.
“If she can do that and finish up strong in those short go’s, she would be among the leaders in that event,” Emmons said.
Fowler leads the team in barrel racing, but Emmons said she didn’t have the first half she’s accustomed to after finishing in the top six in the region a year ago. He’s anticipating a second-half surge.
“Hopefully, she will have her horse fresh and ready to make a big run this spring,” he said. “The second half features some smaller arena set-ups at four of the five rodeos, and those seem to fit her horse well, so I am looking for good things out of her this half.
“We have a very talented team. We have a lot of talented freshman, and I am excited to see how the second half goes. We are part of the toughest region in college rodeo nationally, and sometimes it takes these guys a semester or even a year or two to get it going, but we are very well represented, and I am optimistically hopeful for a strong second half.”
WC rodeo leaders at midpoint
• Team roping-header: 4. Lane Cooper, 475 points (590 leads)
• Team roping-heeler: 5. Blake Bentley, 475 (608 leads)
Top two teams and top three individuals advance to nationals.
• Men’s team: Fourth, 1.158.33 points (Tarleton leads with 2,470; followed by Clarendon, 2,020)
• Women’s team: Sixth, 437.50 (South Plains leads with 900, Texas Tech second with 785)
• Bull riding: 6. Hadley Miller, 160 (595 leads)
• Tie down roping: 4. Thane Lockhart, 210 (410 leads); 8. Parker Carbajal, 130; 8. Tate Thomas, 130
• Steer wrestling: 13. Thomas, 85 (480 leads)
• Team roping-header: 1. Cooper, 475; 7. Kasen Brennise, 155
• Team roping-heeler: 1. Bentley, 475
• Barrel racing: 15. (tie) Laney Fowler, 60 (520 leads)
• Breakaway roping: 5. Sara Angelone, 160 (275 leads)
• Goat tying: 4. Kodey Hoss, 267.5 (380 leads)
• Feb. 20 - Odessa College Rodeo
• March 26 - Ranger College Rodeo at Sweetwater
• April 2 - Western Texas College Rodeo at Snyder
• April 16 - Howard College Rodeo at Big Spring
• April 23 - Tarleton Stampede at Stephenville