Led by Caleb McMillan, the Northwest College rodeo team will be chasing a national title at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper next week.
Coach Del Nose believes this Big Sky Region championship team is the Trappers’ best going to the nationals since 2004.
Competition runs June 9-15.
McMillan, of Soap Lake, Wash., was the dominant cowboy in the Big Sky area this year, far-and-away the points leader in the All-Around and regularly scoring high in several events. He compiled more points (over 2,600) than any other All-Around scorer in the country.
“Caleb will be the guy,” Nose said.
The Trappers were set to regroup at the end of this week after a few-week break following their last competition.
Nose said some cowboys have been competing in rodeos near their hometowns and they have hopefully been re-energized for these championships.
Northwest’s qualifiers are McMillan, saddle bronc rider Clancy Glenn of Parma, Idaho, team ropers Colten Fisher of Shepherd, Mont., and Will Griffel of Columbus, Mont., and bull riders Justin Ketezenberg of Yakima, Wash., and Keatan Martz of Forestburg, Alberta.
They will measure themselves against 10 other regions’ best.
That 2004 team did not perform the way Nose hoped.
“It was a very humbling experience,” he said.
However, he is optimistic about the 2019 bunch.
“I’m feeling way good about it,” Nose said. “We’ve got the potential.”