University hosts its first-ever home rodeo

John Parsons, Staff Reporter


Texas A&M University-Commerce hosted its first-ever home rodeo Feb. 21 and 22 at the Hopkins County Civic Center in Sulphur Springs with both the women’s and men’s teams competing.

The women’s team has taken over the first-place spot in the region and second place nationally while the men’s team has claimed fifth place in the region.

Abby Hampton led the women’s team at first place in the overall standings for the rodeo. She tied for second place in breakaway calf roping and came in third in team roping. She was in the regional standings at first place in breakaway calf roping and in 14th place for team roping header.

In the regional overall standings, Mia Manzanares was in first place while Whitley Whitewood stands in second place after the TAMUC rodeo.

Manzanares has competed in breakaway calf roping, goat tying and team roping. She won the goat tying competition and stood in second place in the region for that event. She was in third place regionally for breakaway calf roping.

Whitewood has competed in barrel racing and breakaway calf roping. She came in fifth in breakaway calf roping during the rodeo. She stood in second place regionally in barrel racing and seventh place in breakaway calf roping.

Katie Jo Boyd came in in fourth place in barrel racing.

Morgan Williams tied for ninth place in goat tying and stood at 13th place regionally.

In the regional barrel racing standings, Whitewood was joined by Shaye Jessee in ninth place and Maci Ray in 12th place.

Maci Ray was in 13th place regionally as a team roping header.

The team roping event saw Trenton Norris winning the competition for the men’s team. He was in third place regionally after the rodeo.

Ty Eason won seventh place in tie down calf roping. He was in eighth place regionally.

Carson Hicks came in eighth in steer wrestling. He was in 12th place in the event regionally.

Ty Harris stood in first place in the region in tie down calf roping and ninth place in team roping header.

Gavin Michel failed to ride his bull during this rodeo but stood in second place regionally.

Reid Halbert was in second place for team roping header in the region.

Mark Buster was in 11th place regionally as a team roping header.

In the regional team roping heeler standings, Dane Reed was in second place, Bentley Curry was in eighth place and Eric Williams was in ninth place.

The rodeo teams were reformed in 2013 under coach Dameon White.

“I saw the opening here and wanted to jump at the opportunity since I was going to school at A&M-Commerce at the time,” White is quoted as saying in a Jan. 30 press release.

The teams compete in the Southern Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. They travel across the southern part of the country to compete in five rodeos each semester.

“This has been a strong group of students right from the start,” White said in the press release. “I have had someone on the team qualify for Nationals every year since the program started.”

Not all of the team members are agriculture students, according to White.

“I have students majoring in psychology, criminal justice, nursing and plenty of others,” White said in the press release.

His biggest hopes for the rodeo were for the event to educate the student and local population about the teams and to show what the members are capable of, according to the press release.