Rodeo Season comes to a close 2 qualify for Nationals in June

Rodeo Season comes to a close 2 qualify for Nationals in June
The Three Rivers Rodeo season came to a close today. The 3 remaining rodeos we had left were at University of Tennessee at Martin, Northwest Mississippi Community College and Pearl River Community College have been canceled. They all decided today that it was not a good idea to have their rodeos this spring for the safety of the contestants and spectators.
With our season coming to a end after 7 rodeos, the Three Rivers Raiders Men's Team finished 5th in the Region with the women's team finishing 10th.  We had 2 outstanding Raiders qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper Wyoming June 13-20. Cannon Smith finished the year in 3rd place on the head side of team roping. He and his partner Cade Cowan of NWMCC qualified for a run at a National Title this June. Cannon is also an All Around cowboy competing in the calf roping and steer wrestling to go along with the Team Roping event. Cannon came into the Fall rodeos back from a complete reconstruction of his knee and he eased into the rodeos still trying to work out all the kinks coming off a 6 month break from injury. He has worked really hard and was just starting to get the ball rolling at the end of the Fall and at the start of Spring rodeos. If he would've got to compete at the last 3 rodeos, he had a really good shot of getting to the CNFR in steer wrestling as well. He finished 9th with 190 points while a person can get a maximum of 180 points at one rodeo. With the way he was winning this spring, I believe he would've made it in steer wrestling to go along with team roping.
Trevor Zerrusen was the Raiders other qualifier finishing 3rd in the region in the bull riding. Trevor had been having an ok year but at University of Arkansas Monticello last weekend, he stepped up his game tremendously. Trevor won the 1st round and finished 2nd in round 2 with 1st in Average at UAM and rocketed him from 5th to 3rd and earned him his first trip to the CNFR. "Trevor has come a very long way since he started here at Three Rivers. He is a 4.0 student and works really hard perfecting his bull riding and his hard work has paid off in the last 6 months. As a coach, you can't ask for a better athlete than Trevor Zerrusen on any team you would ever coach. From his attitude, his grades, the work ethic and heart he puts in to his bull riding makes him top of the class and it makes me proud."
The Raider Rodeo team had several others that were real close to making the CNFR this year but the 3 rodeos that were canceled hurt them tremendously. Last year's Region Champion and CNFR qualifier Madison Steele finished the season in 5th place just 5 points shy of 3rd place and another qualification to the CNFR. Colby Daniels finished in 7th place in the steer wrestling just 125 points out of 3rd place. Kolby Krieger finished in 6th place in the calf Roping 150 points out of 3rd place and finished 7th on the heeling side of the team roping only 170 points out of a CNFR qualifying position. Blane Maxwell finished 5th in the heading event of team roping, only 80 points out of a qualifying spot for the finals. The bull riders had 4 more in the top 11 with Jake Sellers finishing in 7th and Josh Norman in 8th, Dick Wente in 9th, and Holden Moss in 11th.
We've had a blessed year and have a real legitimate shot at getting a National Title at this year's CNFR with Cannon and Trevor.  This team has been through a lot of adversity this year and they've never let it sink them. They have stepped up to every challenge and hurdle and went after the goals they had set for themselves!! As a coach what more can you ask out of your team than stepping up to any and all challenges thrown at you and them doing whatever it took to get the job done.


Chad Phipps - Head Rodeo Coach