Keylie Kemple, New Mexico State University rodeo team member, ropes a steer during practice. The rodeo team will compete in its spring opener March 7 in Casa Grande, Arizona. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)
The New Mexico State University rodeo team is getting ready to kick off its spring season Saturday, March 7 in Casa Grande, Arizona. Currently, the women’s team ranks first, and the men’s team ranks second in the Grand Canyon region entering the season.
“We’ve been focusing on the mental game,” said rodeo head coach Logan Corbett. “We’ve been covering mental toughness material at our weekly meetings and practicing four days a week. I think that this spring we’ll see the rewards of our off-season efforts.”
Key members of the men’s team to watch this semester include junior Preston Ogle, who is currently leading in saddle bronc riding for the region. He has been competing professionally in the winter, and Corbett expects him to finish the season strong.
All around threat, freshman Bo Tyler Vocu will compete in the saddle bronc, tie down roping and bull riding. He’s currently leading in the bull riding event in the region and recently won the pro rodeo in Yuma, Arizona, in the saddle bronc riding event.
Senior McLane Arballo is leading the region in steer wrestling, and this spring will be his last semester competing at the collegiate level.
For the women’s team, graduate student LeighAnn Scribner is dominating. She ranks first in breakaway roping and second in goat tying. Sophomore Jayde Wamel currently ranks second in barrel racing.
Two sisters at the top of the leaderboard are sophomore Abbie Shofner and senior Bethanie Shofner. Both of them qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo last season in breakaway roping. They currently hold the second and third spot for breakaway roping in the region this year.
“We’ll be looking for strong finishes from all our student-athletes and specifically multiple national champions at this year’s CNFR,” said Corbett. “I’ve never had a team with this much talent, and I know that they are capable of national team championships.”
The team experienced several injuries during the fall semester, but most of them are back in action. Junior Cody Henderson will continue to compete in the team roping and tiedown events after having surgery in summer 2019 for a broken pelvis. Junior Trevor Scott, a 2019 CNFR qualifier, returns in team roping and tie down roping after sustaining torn ligaments in his knee in summer 2019. Vocu sustained a broken arm after winning the fall season college finale in October and is back competing professionally.
After the spring opener, the team is scheduled to compete March 14 in Tucson, Arizona, March 21-22 in Huachuca, Arizona, April 10-11 in Payson, Arizona, and April 24-26 in Socorro, New Mexico.
For more information on the NMSU rodeo team, contact Corbett at 575-646-3659 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Faith Schifani – NMSU