Exciting collegiate rodeo action returns to Mississippi’s Golden Triangle this coming week. For three days beginning Thursday, the city of West Point will be the temporary home for some 350 collegiate cowboys and cowgirls from four-year universities and two-year community colleges, including host East Mississippi Community College, traveling from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.
Hosted by EMCC for the second straight year with assistance provided by Luke Lummus Rodeo Productions, the three-day (March 27-29) collegiate rodeo will mark the fourth event of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s 2014 Ozark Region spring schedule. Performances are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. all three nights (Thursday-Saturday). Ticket prices each day will be $10 for adults and $5 for students with children aged five years and younger being admitted free of charge.
For the children, the three-day rodeo will feature a pig scramble for kids aged five and under along with a calf scramble for those aged 6-10 and a chicken scramble for youngsters between the ages of 11-15.
Competing in long-go and short-go rounds throughout the three-day rodeo, men’s events will be held in bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping. Women’s competition will feature barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying.
Along with the EMCC men’s and women’s rodeo teams, the NIRA’s Ozark Region features the University of Tennessee at Martin, Troy University, Murray State University, the University of West Alabama, Southern Arkansas University, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Missouri Valley College, Three Rivers College, Cossatot Community College, and Northwest Mississippi Community College.
The Tennessee-Martin men’s team currently ranks atop the NIRA’s national standings with 4,570 cumulative points for the 2013-14 rodeo season. Also from the Ozark Region in men’s competition, Missouri Valley College stands fourth nationally and West Alabama is presently 21st. On the women’s side, Troy University currently leads all Ozark Region members with an 11th-place ranking nationally, followed by Southern Arkansas (17th), Murray State (19th) and Missouri Valley (24th).
Guided by head coach Morgan Goodrich, the EMCC men’s and women’s rodeo teams stand sixth and fifth, respectively among the current Ozark Region standings. The Lions opened the spring campaign by finishing second at the Cossatot CC rodeo and then followed two weeks later with a third-place showing at Arkansas-Monticello. The EMCC women’s team most recently placed second a week ago at the Southern Arkansas rodeo.
Individually for East Mississippi, transfer cowboys Colt Fisher (Sulphur, La.) and Justin Pruitt (Greenbrier, Ark.) already stand fourth among the regional team roping leaders with 320 points in the respective header and heeler categories despite having only competed during the three spring rodeos to this point. Oak Hill Academy product Palmer White ranks fifth regionally in steer wrestling with 270 total points. For the EMCC cowgirls, KoryAnn McCuiston (Greenbrier, Ark.) stands fifth among the regional leaders in breakaway roping with 235 points, while Katelyn Nicholson (Lawrence) is tied for seventh regionally in barrel racing with 170 points.