Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 10, 2013

BRETT HOFFMAN: Two TVCC cowboys headed to finals rodeo

Athens — Two Trinity Valley Community College competitors have qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo.

In order to earn a spot in the CNFR, which is scheduled for June 9 through 15 in Casper, Wyo., a competitor must finish in the top three in a single event in regional competition.

Two Frank Phillips cowboys met that criterion in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southern Region.

The 2012-13 regular season, which consisted of 10 regional shows, concluded April 27 at the Wharton County Jr. College Rodeo.

A TVCC cowboy named Lightning Nicolas Aguilera has qualified for the 2013 CNFR in team roping heading by finishing first in the regional standings.

TVCC's Kolby Ryan Miller made the cut after finishing No. 1 team roping heeling.

PRCA update

Tuf Cooper, the defending world champion tie-down roper, won the all-around title at the May 3-5 Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo in Guymon, Okla. Cooper clinched the title after pocketing $3,527 in tie-down and team roping.

Cooper earned $646 after placing in a round of team roping and he pocketed $2,881 after finishing third in the tie-down roping average.

After all that, Cooper, who is from Decatur, was ranked second in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s May 6 tie-down roping world title race with $39,109.

Sterling Smith of Stephenville was ranked No. 1 with $42,739.

Cooper also is a familiar face at the San Angelo-based Roping Fiesta. He won the match roping title in 2010 and 2012.

Cooper is the son of eight-time world champion Roy Cooper, a Hobbs, N.M., native who lives in Decatur. Roy Cooper has eight world titles.

The single event champions at the Guymon rodeo were bareback rider Seth Hardwick (88 points), bull rider Tyler Smith (93 points), steer wrestler Stockton Graves (12.5 seconds on three head), team ropers Charly Crawford and Ryan Motes (21.1 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss (87 points), tie-down roper Cade Swor (25.7 seconds on three head), steer roper Rocky Patterson (67.5 seconds on five head) and barrel racer Michelle McLeod (34.57 seconds on two runs).

Cowboy to watch

Casey Meroshnekoff, 19, of Red Bluff, Calif., won the May 4-5 Stonyford (Calif.) Rodeo after turning in a score of 83 on Growney Brothers’ No. 922.

He also won the May 3-4 Kern County Sheriff’s Reserve Stampede Days Rodeo in Bakersfield, Calif., with a remarkable grabbing 90-point ride on Blue Bayou of the Big Stone, Moreno & Growney string, according to the PRCA.

Meroshnekoff also is a college rodeo star.

As a freshman at West Hills College in Coalinga, Calif., he is leading the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association West Coast Region in bareback riding, bull riding, team roping (heeling) and the all-around.

Ryon roping set for May 24-26

The 40th Windy Ryon Memorial Roping is scheduled for May 24-26 in Fort Worth. For more information, visit

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the past quarter century. Email him at

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