Teaming up in Lamar with Shannon O’Bryan
by Susie Rogers
When Shannon O’Bryan graduated from college with his ag business degree, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career in production agriculture. But what Shannon did not know was that his future would include producing a rodeo team at Lamar Community College (LCC) in Lamar, Colo.
As LCC’s new rodeo coach, Shannon says that he loves his job. Besides coaching the rodeo team, he teaches equine courses for LCC’s well-respected Horse Training and Management (HTM) program. As a champion team roper and a former graduate himself of LCC’s HTM program, Shannon excels at both positions.
Competing in high school rodeo in Minnesota, Shannon was a two-time team roping state champion. He next attended LCC, where he studied ag business and competed as a member on the rodeo team. He graduated from LCC with an HTM degree and then attended Panhandle State University where he again competed in collegiate rodeo and graduated with his ag business degree. Now a full time faculty member at LCC, Shannon continues to compete in team roping throughout the country.
With about 20 members on the team now, Shannon’s immediate future goals include recruiting and maintaining 40 competing athletes. To encourage recruitment, academic scholarships such as the Jim Robinette Memorial Scholarship are available.
Beyond recruitment, Shannon is working towards winning the regional competition within three years. Shannon believes his rodeo team’s current strengths are in saddle bronc and team roping and hopes to recruit bull and bareback riders to fill out the rough stock events.
Timed events showed excellent promise this spring at Casper, Wyo., for example. Jay Grant roped his calf in 10 seconds, tying for second and third in the long round. Kenneth Lewis threw his steer-wrestling steer in 4.8 seconds, winning seventh in the long round.
Kenneth then came through with a 4.3 second run in the short round to win third in the short round and a tie for third and fourth in the average. Ben Hatch had a first round ride of 64 points to place third in the long round. He then followed up with a 74-point ride to tie for second and third in the round and second in the average.
With members practicing regularly, consistently, and constantly, Shannon is confident that his team will increase their win record next year. Knowing that past LCC graduates include professional rodeo athletes like Butch Myers, steer wrestler (whose son Cash won the world steer wrestling title), and Shannon O’Bryan himself, the regional competition is certainly within reach for LCC’s rodeo team.
For more information about LCC’s rodeo team, please contact Shannon O’Bryan at (719) 336-1544 or by e-mail at: Obryan@lcc.cccoes.edu.