June 19, 2017
Last week, bull rider Kenneth “Blue” Wilcox from Greenbrier, AR and bareback rider Scotty Bevins from Amsterdam, NY, represented the Mesalands Community College Rodeo Team at the 69th Annual College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, WY. Wilcox tied for eighth place in the nation in bull riding and teammate Bevins finished in the top 25 in bareback riding.
Wilcox started the college national finals on a high note, after being crowned the bull riding champion for the Grand Canyon Region in the year-end standings. Matt Hughes, Intercollegiate Rodeo Coach and Faculty Member at Mesalands Community College, explains how Wilcox performed at this year’s CNFR.
“Blue did everything just right on the second bull he rode. He was outstanding! You couldn’t ask for more than that,” said Coach Hughes. “He had some chute issues on his other two bulls. There were just some small mistakes that you can’t make on that caliber of animal.”
At the 2017 CNFR, Wilcox earned 75.5 points in the second round of the bull riding event and qualified for the championship round. He then received a no score in the championship round and tied for eighth place at the college finals.
Coach Hughes says he believes Wilcox was beyond ready for the professional stock at the college finals. He does plan on working with Wilcox next season to clean-up some of his small mistakes to help his overall performance.
In bareback riding, Bevins had a score of 66.5 points for the first round, 58.5 points for the second round, and 55.5 points for the third round, for an average of 180.5 points. Bevins ended the rodeo in 21st place at the college national finals.
“Scotty’s mental game was good. He was excited to be there and was grateful for the opportunity. His main goal was to cover all three horses and he did that,” Coach Hughes said. “Next year, we will perfect his riding style a little more and help him score more points.”
Coach Hughes also stated he talked to Rebecca Darrup, from Mifflinburg, PA, who is also a member of the Mesalands Rodeo Team, at the college national finals. Darrup was a journalism intern for the CNFR. Coach Hughes said that Darrup had learned a lot and she was appreciative of the opportunity
“The college finals was a good starting point for the Mesalands Rodeo Team,” Coach Hughes said. “Our student athletes competed well and they showed they deserved to be there. Next year, I look forward to having an entire team at the college finals.”
The Mesalands Community College Rodeo Team will host their 10th Annual Mesalands Intercollegiate Fall Rodeo in October at the Quay County Rodeo Arena.