A new season is officially underway for the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team. MPCC traveled to River Falls, Wis. to compete in the Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo Friday and Saturday.
Caitlyn Comfort, of Elwood, and Weston Kunkee, of Lexington, set the pace by taking second in the team roping. They were followed by twins Wyatt and Chance Williams, of Ord, who ended up sixth in the same event.
Comfort also placed third in the breakaway roping – securing a third-place finish for the MPCC women’s team.
“Caitlyn got us third in the women’s team standings all by herself,” said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. “I was real happy for her. She had a great weekend, especially for being a freshman at her first college rodeo.” – and, given the circumstances she was up against.
With only five minutes left of practice Wednesday night, Comfort’s trusted old rope horse came up lame. She had to compete on Nokes’ son’s horse instead.
“I was really proud of how Caitlyn overcame the adversity of getting on a strange horse and how she didn’t let that setback affect her mentally,” Nokes said. “She just went out there and took care of business. That will be a major boost in confidence for her as the season progresses.”
In the other events, JD Draper, of Oakley, Kan., placed fourth in the steer wrestling. He was fifth in the tie-down roping – just behind teammate Wynn Schaack, of Wall, S.D., who finished fourth.
Newcomer Teran Sharman, of Palmer, also earned points for MPCC with rides that ultimately put him fifth in the bull riding.
Overall, MPCC ranked fourth in the men’s team standings.
It wasn’t quite the outcome Nokes had hoped for, but now team members know what they need to work on.
“I think we put a little too much pressure on that first rodeo,” Nokes said. “Everyone went in there and wanted to win right off the bat. We just need to settle down and do our jobs. We’ve got the talent to win everywhere we go, but the kids were trying a little too hard. This may be the most talented group we’ve ever had, so I know they will come back. It might have been a good thing for us to stumble a bit in the beginning, so that we can get our heads on straight moving forward.”