LEVELLAND—Following a season in which the South Plains College men's and women's rodeo teams were each represented at the College National Finals Rodeo, the Texans and Lady Texans will kick off their 2017 campaign on Thursday, Sept. 21 in Portales at the Eastern New Mexico University Rodeo.
The Lady Texans begin the year as the two-time defending Western Junior College Athletic Conference champions. South Plains will return a trio of sophomores in Jenna Dallyn, Alex Odle, and Avery Gonzales. Dallyn finished the year ranked eighth in the Southwest Region as a freshman in the goat tying event. Odle concluded her freshman year as one of the top barrel racers in the region, ending the season ranked 11th in the final regional standings. Gonzales, a sophomore from Peralta, New Mexico finished the season ranked 15th in the region in the breakaway roping event.
"Our barrel racer Alex Odle will be back, and she was a national champion her senior year in high school," South Plains head coach Kerry Doster said. "She finished near the top 10 last year in barrel racing, which might not sound that great, but when you're competing against 160 other athletes, she did pretty well.
"Jenna Dallyn, who is also a sophomore, has been tying goats for us and she has been outstanding. It's one of those deals where she's no longer a freshman and can kind of get rid of those freshman jitters. Another girl we have is Avery Gonzales. She has a really strong work ethic and we have really been pleased with how she has stepped up."
The Texans placed ninth in the Southwest Region a year ago and will look to a group of returning sophomores to scratch their way into contention for a conference title. The Texans will be led by sophomore Chet Boren who won the Southwest Region in the steer wrestling event last season and placed 14th at the College National Finals Rodeo.
After ending the year ranked fifth in the region in team roping, Kade Sherwood and Stefan Ramone will look to compete for a regional crown in 2017. Chase Wilson, a sophomore from Decatur, Texas ended his freshman year ranked 15th in steer wrestling in the final regional standings, and will look to wrestle his way up the leaderboards and put himself in contention for a regional title.
"Chet won the region last season in steer wrestling, and I expect him to do well in all of his events this year," Doster said. "He stayed down all summer and practiced with us, so he's coming back and I think he's ready for the season. Our team ropers, Kade Sherwood and Stefan Ramone have been roping really well for us. We also have Chase Wilson who we brought in last year that bulldogged for us and I think he's settled in and ready to go."
Action will get underway on Thursday at 5 p.m. MST at the Lewis Cooper Arena in Portales. The arena is located at 513 E 3rd St. A Full schedule can be found at the following link: http://nebula.wsimg.com/471f8f3719ba83784119bf35d9822288?AccessKeyId=74F232E83CADD3B9071D&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
Head coach Kerry Doster sat down with Michael Wiiest of KLVT radio in Levelland to discuss the upcoming season which can be seen in the video below: