SFA Rodeo Team member Kasen McCall, a freshman agribusiness major, competed in the team roping event at the 2019 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. McCall, a Lufkin native, competed June 9 through 15 in three individual rounds to advance to the championship round, placing 11th in the nation.
McCall and his roping partner, Clayton Lowry of Panola College, squared off against more than 400 students from across the United States, as well as Canada, Brazil and Australia.
The duo, who have roped together for more than five years, competed in the Southern Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association throughout the 2018- 19 academic year to earn a national bid. “I am incredibly proud of Kasen and Clayton and the personal and professional goals they both achieved by qualifying for the CNFR,” said Rachel Clark, SFA coordinator of student publications and SFA Rodeo Club adviser and team coach. “The team roping was tough, but our Lumberjack was tougher. He and his partner put together solid runs to earn a spot in the championship round.
That is certainly impressive for freshmen.” McCall and Lowry missed catching their first-round steer but bounced back to rope their second- and third-round steers in 6.9 and 5.1 seconds, respectively. The team’s total time of 12.0 seconds on two runs earned them an exclusive spot in the final round. “I was excited we made the short-go,” said McCall. “I was nervous, but knew we needed to catch to move up in the overall standings.” The team roping event consists of a steer and two ropers—a header and a heeler. The steer receives a head start when released from a chute into the arena ahead of the two ropers. The header’s job is to rope the steer’s horns or neck and turn the animal left so the heeler can rope the steer’s back feet. Once the steer is caught and the ropes are stretched tight, the judge’s flag is dropped, and the time recorded. The fastest time earns the top spot.
McCall, along with other SFA Rodeo Team members, practice daily to achieve their goals and represent the University on the intercollegiate level. The team is housed within the Campus Recreation department and practices at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center, located off of Highway 259 North.
“I practice wherever I can, whenever I can,” said McCall. “I’m not only representing myself when I compete, but also SFA and the Lumberjack Rodeo Team.”
The College National Finals Rodeo streamed live on ESPN 3 and will air on ESPN U beginning Aug. 14.
Clark said the SFA Rodeo Team and Club were both established in the 1960s. While the Rodeo Club is open to all students, those who are a part of the SFA Rodeo Team typically have a strong foundation in agriculture and are required to provide their own horses and gear to compete. For more information, contact Clark at email@example.com or (936) 468-4703.