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Contact: Zina L. Carter  979-532-6417


WCJC Men’s Rodeo Team members qualify for National Finals

Five members of the Wharton County Junior College Men’s Rodeo Team will compete at the College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming later this month. From left are assistant coach Casey Halderman, Reid Zapalac of Smithville, Paden Hurst of Navasota, Mason Boettcher of East Bernard, Ty Arnold of Midway, Kaine Warnken of Schulenburg and coach Sean Amestoy.

Five members of the Wharton County Junior College Men’s Rodeo Team will journey to Casper, Wyo., this month to compete with the best cowboys in the nation.

During the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) – scheduled for June 12 to June 18 at the Casper Events Center – WCJC cowboys will join more than 400 competitors from 100 colleges across the nation in competing for a coveted national title.

WCJC Rodeo Coach Sean Amestoy is excited about his team’s possibilities.

“We have a really good group overall and I am real proud of these guys,” Amestoy said. “We’ve been fortunate to have such solid competitors.”

Five WCJC cowboys qualified for the CNFR after impressive finishes in the Southern Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA):

• Reid Zapalac of Smithville – first place in the all-around competition and second place in steer wrestling

• Paden Hurst of Navasota – third place in bareback riding

• Mason Boettcher of East Bernard – first place in team roping (header)

• Ty Arnold of Midway – first place in team roping (heeler)

• Kaine Warnken of Schulenburg – third place in team roping (heeler)

As a team, WCJC finished in third place in the region for 2016, beating out much larger universities like Texas A&M. The women’s team did well, too, finishing seventh.

Amestoy lauded his finalists with putting in the hard work needed to get to the top. He especially singled out Zapalac, who won the all-around by tallying up more points than any other cowboy in the region.

“It’s a heck of an accomplishment,” Amestoy said.

Zapalac was also the rodeo team’s 2016 Most-Valuable Player – an honor he won last season as well.

Two of the CNFR finalists – Hurst and Warnken – are only freshmen.

“We had these two guys step up and I’ve been impressed with their efforts,” Amestoy said.

Amestoy noted that the entire team competed well this season, deeming the group “outstanding.” He credited assistant rodeo coach, Casey Halderman, with helping to keep the team compete at its highest level.

“Casey does an incredible job,” Amestoy said. “It’s been a true team effort all the way around.”

For more information on the CNFR, visit the website at www.cnfr.com

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