WJCAC Adopts Rodeo as a Conference Sport

BIG SPRING, TX – The Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) has adopted Men’s and Women’s Rodeo as a WJCAC Conference Sport during their regularly scheduled spring meeting.

Within the conference, six of the ten conference colleges participate in rodeo. The six colleges include Howard College, Clarendon College, Frank Phillips College, New Mexico Junior College, Odessa College, and Western Texas College, each competing within the college rodeo Southwest Region.

“The Athletic Directors were in unanimous support to bring this forward to the WJCAC Presidents for approval,” said John Green, WJCAC Conference Commissioner.  

The rodeos will still be conducted under the rules and guidelines of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). The Southwest Region conducts 10 events each year, one of which is the highly regarded Howard College rodeo. The schedule, standings and other information in regards to the collegiate rodeo programs will continue to be found on the NIRA website.

“We’re excited to add rodeo as a conference sport,” said Britt Smith, Howard College athletic director and head baseball coach. “It won’t change anything regarding the way they conduct their sport but it will give us a chance to reward their efforts in a new arena and give those student athletes the recognition they deserve.”

As an official sport of the WJCAC, the rodeo teams will compete for a Western Junior College Athletic Conference Championship as well as individual honors such as being named to the WJCAC All Conference Team.

Howard College is no stranger to national recognition in the rodeo arena as the 2010 All-Around Cowboy and Steer Wrestling Reserve Champion Jason Schaffer represented the Hawks as well as Kaci Smith (barrel racing) and Cullen Teller (team roping) who competed in the College National Finals Rodeo earlier this month. Smith came home with the 11th place finish in the nation while Teller secured the 6th place spot as a heeler in team roping.

“The sport of collegiate rodeo has great tradition and the WJCAC has such strong teams, this decision by the conference will allow us to highlight this great sport in a bigger, better way,” said Green. “The talented cowboys and cowgirls from across the world will make for fierce competition to claim the title of WJCAC Conference Champ.”

For more on the HC Hawk Rodeo Team and updated schedule and results, visit www.hchawk.com.
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