The Trappers won the University of Great Falls Rodeo May 1-3, placed second at the Dawson Community College Rodeo April 25-27 and were third at University of Montana May 9-10.
“The guys have had a great spring and so when they got in the groove they carried the momentum and it’s really kind of paid off for us,” said NWC head coach Del Nose.
The Trapper women finished in seventh in the Big Sky and will not advance to CNFR.
Nose, who was named the 2013-14 Big Sky Region Coach of the Year, was happy to see the dedication of his team pay off.
“They have to work so hard during the season to get to Casper,” Nose said. “And when it does happen, wow, they’re going to be on a roll.”
Six Trappers, and possibly a seventh, qualified to compete in CNFR, which takes place June 15-21 at the Casper Events Center. The Trappers send individuals to Nationals every year but it will be the first time Northwest has sent its men’s team to CNFR since winning the Big Sky Region in the 2005-06 season.
Shawn Bird, Zachary Schweigert, Dalyn Wingard, Richard Warren, Devon Mitchell and Brady Gulde are all slotted for Nationals, while Colton Redmond is waiting for an opening.
The top three cowboys in each event qualify for state and Redmond is fourth in both tie-down roping and as a team roping header.
The Trappers will have a month to practice and, more importantly, compete, in preparation for Casper.
“We’ll be rodeoing,” Nose said. “The nice thing about it is we got the Cody Nite Rodeo. We’re fortunate to have this kind of a venue this close to the school.”
Cody Nite Rodeo runs every night at 8 p.m. from June 1 to Aug. 31.
“They’ll be on their game,” Nose said. “We’ll stay tuned up.”
They’ll have to. Nose said every qualified team headed to Casper will treat the next month like the most important month of rodeoing they’ve ever had.
“It’s a very serious event for them and they are working hard at it,” Nose said. “It’s kind of a dream come true for those guys to get to Casper.”
The dream of Nationals was put to bed, at least for this season, for the Trapper women.
“The girls did better than what was on paper,” Nose said.
The coach noted Elsie Fortune and Kellee Jo Hersrud had excellent seasons, but didn’t always get the benefit of the breaks.
“They did good they just didn’t have the luck the other girls had,” Nose said.
Nose said the women are poised to show improvement next season.
“Recruiting is coming along really well so hopefully we’ll be very strong on the women’s side next fall,” the coach said.
The men’s win in Great Falls, Mont., was highlighted by first-place finishes from Warren (saddle bronc riding), Mitchell (bull riding) and Bird and Schweigert in team roping.
Billy Cobler took second in bull riding and Wingard was second in steer wrestling. Cody Sheridan and Dylan Clark were fifth in team roping while Mason Chaffee and Tyler Young finished eighth.
Tel Blatter was seventh in steer wrestling.
Despite winning in Great Falls, Nose said the Trappers’ best rodeo may have been the week before in Glendive, Mont., where the men finished second, just 110 points behind first-place Montana State University.
“It came right down to the bullet,” Nose said.
Mitchell finished third in bull riding but was not yet an official NWC team member, so his 68 points did not count toward the Trappers’ score.
Northwest got wins in tie-down roping from Redmond and in team roping from Bird and Schweigert.
Warren was third in saddle bronc riding and sixth in the men’s all-around.
Young was fourth in tie-down roping. Fortune took fifth in breakaway roping on the women’s side.
Chad Nickeson and Levi Pfingsten were seventh in team roping and Gulde and Warren took eighth. Wingard was ninth in steer wrestling.
Northwest took third place in its final regular season rodeo over the weekend at the University of Montana.
Gulde and Warren were first in team roping and Zane Not Afraid and Young were second. Nose said Warren, a freshman, was a key contributor for the Trappers down the stretch.
“He’s just started to grow,” Nose said. “The light came on and he’s the one that really carried the momentum.”
Nose named Coach of the Year
For the second time in four years Nose was named the Big Sky Region Coach of the Year. He also won in 2010.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh, that’s cool,’” Nose said. “But the next thought was, ‘The association is about the kids’ and I just went right on riding in stride you could say.”
Nose will be one of 11 finalists for the national Coach of the Year award, which will be announced in Casper during the College National Finals Rodeo.