CNFR Runner-Up Boots Leads The Charge For Trappers
Last year, the Northwest College men’s rodeo team won the Big Sky Region, placed 12th at the College National Finals Rodeo and had a second-place finisher in the all-around in sophomore Bubba Boots. This year’s team aims to replicate that success, starting with a home rodeo this weekend in Cody.
The top two teams in each of the 11 regions get to bring all six members of their team to the CNFR, and the Trappers have five of the six members who attended the finals last year returning in Boots, Matthew Williams, Jake Davis, Caleb McMillan and Emilio Reyna.
Head coach Del Nose said the team is hoping for a repeat this year, but in rodeo, you don’t know who will now be competing.
“You never what’s out there, what comes up,” Nose said. “It all depends on how the kids do and how they draw.”
Between the men and women, there are 25 student athletes on NWC’s rodeo team.
Collegiate rodeo differs from other collegiate sports in that all the schools with rodeo programs compete for the national title. Two-year institutions compete with four-year universities across the country for bragging rights. The United States is divided into 11 regions, with NWC in the Big Sky Region.
The other eight schools in the Big Sky region are University of Montana — Western, Montana State University, Montana State University — Northern, University of Great Falls, Blackfeet Community College, Miles Community College, Dawson Community College and University of Montana.
“Luck of the draw” is a frequent expression in the sport of rodeo and pertains to all aspects of the sport.
In the rough stock events — bull, saddle bronc and bareback riding — athletes draw to determine which animals they’ll ride and a rider wants an animal athlete that will perform to a desirable score. That’s because half of the score derives from the animal.
In the other events — team roping, tie-down roping and steer wrestling — the luck of the draw is also applicable because cowboys want the animals to run straight and not to the side.
Both the men’s and women’s rodeo teams have been practicing for a couple weeks now and will officially kick off the first part of the season at Cody’s Stampede Park on Friday and Saturday.
The rodeo season is split into fall and spring seasons comprised of four rodeos each. That’s a total of eight rodeos for the cowboys and cowgirls to obtain high enough scores to make it to the CNFR as either a team or individually.
This weekend will be the Trappers’ only home rodeo.
A total of 10 schools plus a couple Native American schools will be competing, for a total of about 250 competitors.
On both Friday and Saturday, slack will start at 9 a.m. and go until about 1 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7 p.m.