Ranger Rodeo Looking to Send Several Members to 2012 CNFR
SENATOBIA – With the spring rodeo season just around the corner, third-year head coach Bruce Lee and the Northwest Rangers are anxious to return to competition and build upon a solid fall season.
Northwest currently boasts four of the top seven bull riders in the Ozark Region, and are looking to send two, hopefully three back to the College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming.
"I think we've got an excellent shot of getting at least two of our guys back to nationals this year," Lee said. "We won or tied for first in the bull riding event in all five rodeos in the fall and hope to keep that going in a few weeks."
Lucas Boatwright (3), Michael Crenshaw (4), Brian Dowdy (6) and Ben Cullum (7) currently hold four of the Top 7 spots and are eighth overall in the men's team standings with 690 total points.
Dowdy was the lone Ranger to make nationals last year after placing third in the region and went on to finish 13th overall in the nation.
Northwest will open spring competition at the Cossatot CC rodeo Feb. 23-25 in Texarkana, Ark.
"It's a great venue built just for rodeo," Lee said. "We'll probably see some bulls we usually don't get to see down there. There will be bulls from Oklahoma and Arkansas and our guys will have to ride up."
The Rangers also get the chance to host a pair of rodeos in late April, their annual one in Senatobia (April 19-21) and again in Centerton, Ark., (April 26-28).
"We had a great event last year in Senatobia, pulling about 3,500 over three days, and it was standing room only Friday and Saturday," Lee said. "We'll do Northwest Night again on Thursday where anyone with a NWCC school ID will get in free. We promise you'll have a great time."
Lee is in his third season with Northwest, taking over for legendary head coach Bud Young.
"I come from a rodeo production background, and my son and I put on about eight different events across the country each year," Lee said. "We are entertainment oriented and try to incorporate that here at Northwest. I will put our production up against any professional rodeo in the country. We put on a fast show, an entertaining show and will host some great talent from around the region."
Northwest currently has eight members on the rodeo team, made up of men and women, but Lee hopes to add to that roster total in the coming years.
"Kids want to be part of a winning program," Lee said. "I think us putting on a good event really helps our recruiting. I'd like to see the program get in that 20-25 member range that it was back in the early 1980s."