MPCC Rodeo Team leads the region

Mid-Plains Community College
MPCC Rodeo Team member Koby Jacobson, of Hershey, rides to a first-place finish at the Blue Hawk Stampede in Dickinson, N.D.
Photo courtesy of Annika Plummer Photography

The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team is leading the Great Plains Region following a successful run in Dickinson, N.D. over the weekend.

MPCC competed in two rodeos at the Blue Hawk Stampede Thursday through Saturday. The men’s team won its first rodeo and finished third overall at the second rodeo – giving Mid-Plains a 700-point lead going into spring.

“There hasn’t been a team that’s had a 700-point rodeo,” said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team coach. “I kept expecting us to have a 1,000-point rodeo sometime this fall, but with talent as deep as we’ve got it, we’ve had two or three people carry us through every competition we’ve been to.”

That was true in Dickinson as well, with Koby Jacobson, of Hershey, and MPCC’s steer wrestlers leading the pack.

“Koby is definitely the leader of our team,” Nokes said. “He didn’t quite qualify for all-around because you have to have 200 points in at least two events, and he’s sitting at 160 in the steer wrestling right now. He’s got more total points than anyone in the all-around standings.”

MPCC ended up with eight steer wrestlers in the top 10 in the first rodeo at Dickinson.

“That was cool,” Nokes said. “It goes to show we’ve got a group that is pushing each other — wanting to beat each other, not just the other teams. Beating all your teammates in this group is pretty phenomenal. It pushes everyone to be better in the practice pen, and that’s what we’re seeing come out in the rodeos.”

Mid-Plains stumbled a bit in the second rodeo with only three team members making it back to the short go and only two in the top six in the steer wrestling.

“That’s the first time we’ve let that happen, and it’s the first time we’ve allowed someone else to claim the championship this fall,” Nokes said. “We’ve won the steer wrestling at five of the six rodeos we’ve competed at.”

The team didn’t walk away without any wins at all. Austin Madison, of Whiting, Iowa, won the tie-down roping — stopping the clock at 8.4 seconds.

“Austin showed why he’s competing at the professional level,” Nokes said “That last round had some calves that were tricky to be fast on, but he came out with ice in his veins and made a run that would have been hard to beat in the professional arena.”

One of the underdogs of the team, Jacob Haren, of Erie, Colo., made it to the short go in both of the rodeos. He placed third and fourth, respectively, in the tie-down roping and was also fourth in the steer wrestling on Saturday.

“Jacob is really talented,” Nokes said. “I expected him to win more than he has this fall, but he’s done well at the last three rodeos and that’s what we’re going to see over the next couple of years from him. He’s been working hard, and I’m happy to see him have the success that he deserves. He’s going to be an all-around threat.”

Dickinson rounded out what has been a busy fall for the team with six rodeos condensed into three weeks because of COVID-19. The athletes won’t have much time off, however. They are hosting a timed event fundraiser Oct. 9-10 at the Kiplinger Arena in McCook.

“Our season is done, and the only question I’ve been getting from the team is, ‘When do we get to practice again?’ They want to get back to it. When we’ve got athletes that competitive and that driven, the other teams are going to have some tough competition in the spring,” said Nokes. ❖