SWTJC Rodeo Team Pushes into National Standings after Spring Opener

SWTJC Rodeo Team Pushes into National Standings after Spring Opener

SWTJC header Reno Stoebner ropes a steer for partner Colt Brittian of Hill College  Photographer: Jennings Rodeo Photography
SWTJC header Reno Stoebner ropes a steer for partner Colt Brittian of Hill College Photographer: Jennings Rodeo Photography

The following information was submitted by Sugar Almand on behalf of the Southwest Texas Junior College Rodeo Team.

Uvalde, TX, March 4, 2021 - The Southwest Texas Junior College Rodeo Team headed back into action January 29 - 30 for their spring opener hosted by Texas A&M University Commerce. Coach Joey Almand and SWTJC athletes traveled to Sulphur Springs, TX, for the event, which is part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Southern Region competitions attended by seven colleges.

At the conclusion of the event, three SWTJC members are now nationally ranked—an enormous achievement. Veteran team roper Buckshot Patterson is ranked the number one heeler in the nation, while teammate Reno Stoebner is ranked the number three header. Also appearing in the national standings is sophomore Taylor Lawson—ranked 19th in the women’s barrel race (and second in the region). The women’s team also found its way into the national standings and sits 24th.

“Seeing your athletes ranked nationally is huge,” said Coach Almand. “Of course, you want to do well regionally and try to qualify for the College National Finals, but being ranked at this level is something we can really be proud of. Not only are our athletes excelling in Texas, but also on the national stage. It’s something you obviously want to give your team and program clout. It’s also something our town and college can really be proud of.”

Stoebner from Bastrop, Texas, had an incredible weekend at the spring opener. He and his partner (Colt Brittian of Hill College) split first and second in the first round of competition with a rapid run of 5.2 seconds. The team won the short round with a 5.8-second run and won the average and subsequently the buckle and event title. The win moved Stoebner into 2nd in the regional standings and 3rd in the nation.

“Reno is one of the most talented ropers I have ever been around,” explained Coach Almand. “He and Colton (his partner) make it look so easy. When they are on their game, I feel like they stand out above the rest. They are that good. Reno is someone you can expect to watch in the future at the NFR. That would be a nice feather in Uvalde’s hat.”

SWTJC heeler Buckshot Patterson was 7.3 on his first steer, placing seventh and 11.5 in the short round, placing fourth. Patterson ended up fifth overall, gathering enough points to take the lead in the regional heeler standings and launch himself into the top slot in the nation.

“Buckshot has placed and gotten points at every rodeo this season,” said Coach Almand. “That is what it takes to win a regional and hopefully a national title—consistency. He has been really steady, and his composure has paid off big time. The plan is for him to continue to keep gathering up points at the rest of the spring events. If he can do that at the rest of them, I honestly think he can maintain his lead in both the region and the nation.”

SWTJC has really shined in the team roping event. In fact the Cowboys had four out of the ten teams in the final round. Sophomores Jace Frerck and Wes Silar also represented Uvalde well. Frerck was 6.0 on his first steer and placed third in the first round and ultimately ended up seventh overall. Silar was 7.1 on his first steer, placing sixth and ended up eighth overall.

“Our SWTJC Cowgirls had a rough weekend,” continued Coach Almand. “It happens. You hate for it to happen, but maybe we have gotten it out of our system. They went into the spring events ranked second in the region—and that is definitely something they can be proud of. Unfortunately, we had some broken barriers in the roping, knocked too many barrels down, and had a bad fall in the goat tying. Our region is so competitive; if you aren’t gathering points, it doesn’t take long to find yourself on the outside looking in.”

The SWTJC Cowgirls now sit seventh in the regional standings but are still ranked 24th in the nation.

“We still have some time, and we have several others that are not only capable but really close to at least getting the CNFR in their grasp. Fletcher Jowers is sixth in the bull riding; Lacy Bruening is seventh in the goat tying, Wes Silar is 11th in the tie-down roping, Taylor Lawson is 14th, and Rheagan Cotton is 25th in breakaway roping, Lauryn Moos is 14th in the barrel race, and Will Farris, Tristan Sullivan, Jace Frerck, Hunter Underbrink, Rylie Smith and Jesse Headstream are all inside the top 25 in their events. So as the saying goes, we still have a lot of rodeo left!”

The SWTJC Cowboys have four more events left in the season to attempt to land CNFR qualifications. The team will travel to Texas A&M University in Bryan, Texas, for their next competition on March 12 - 13.