The Panola College Rodeo team travel to Conroe, for the final rodeo of the fall semester this last weekend. The rodeo was hosted by Sam Houston State University.
Laramie Johnson, and twin brother Colton Johnson, did their part for the Ponies by winning 3rd place in the team roping. The team paired up to rope two steers in just 12.6 seconds. The event was a two header, rope your first one and finish in the top 10, and come back to the short round for your second one. The Johnson twins roped their first steer in 6.2 seconds to finish 6th place in the long-go, and secure a spot in the championship round. In the championship round they stopped the clock in 6.4 seconds, well enough for 2nd place, and valuable team points. The twins are real hard workers and will always be ready to win when the opportunity presents itself.
Abby Phillips and her horse, Fame, are making their mark in the horse racing world. The barrel racing was a long-go, short-go as well. Abby ran a great run in the 1st round of 15.67 seconds, winning 4th in the round, and securing a spot in the championship round. In the championship round she ran a faster time of 15.65 seconds, for 5th place finish in the round, and in the average as well. Abby is setting 2nd place in the region for total points, a very important spot considering the top 3 in the region in each event move to on the CNFR in Casper, WY. Abby is an excellent horseman, with an awesome work ethic, that is gaining confidence and steam with every run. I have great faith and high expectations of her in the future here at Panola College and a great future in pro rodeo as well. Abby is working to get accepted in the nursing program, but the way her and her horse are working the medical field might have to wait awhile before she starts her career there.
Freshman athlete and bareback rider, Travis Chapman, scored a 73 point ride in the long-go to finish 2nd in that round. Travis made a great fundamental bareback ride and was able to win second on a horse that most guys would be unable to place on. Travis has been working hard to perfect his event, and the work is paying off. Travis has not been on very many bucking horses to be competing at this level, under 50. He is not letting it show, at half way through our season, he is ranked number 4 in the region. That's very impressive considering the level of competition and the fact that he is relatively new to the event. Travis will be a key player for this team now and very much so in the future.
Trent Turner, another freshman, placed in the team roping event with a very fast run in the long-go. Trent ropes with Blake Wheeler of TJC, the duo stopped the clock in just 5.8 seconds for a 2nd place finish in the 1st round. Trent is a very strong header that can and will launch every bit of his 32 foot rope. Trent can get the rope on the steer as fast as anyone in region and has been doing that well all year. Look for Trent to be at the top of his sport before the season is through.
The Ponies men and women's teams both are sitting number 4 in the regional standings, very close to achieving our goal of qualifying our teams to the CNFR. The top two teams, on both the men and women's side, will move on to the finals. We have had a few rough goes on both our teams, but this is a very hard headed group that has a refusal to settle for less than greatness. We are basically at half time in our game, we will stick to our plans and I know we can out grind them and achieve our goals.