Over the past 15 years, Wharton County Junior College has been home to dozens of top rodeo cowboys. This year is no exception and Coach Sean Amestoy is looking for his men’s rodeo team to make a strong showing at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyoming in early June.
“Each of these guys is capable of winning an individual national championship as well as a team title,” said Amestoy whose teams have earned CNFR qualifications in 14 of the 15 years he has coached at WCJC. “Anything can happen so I try not to be overconfident.”
The WCJC Men’s Rodeo Team finished second in the nation in 2006. Three students won individual national championships in 2005, 2006 and 2010.
Although this year’s team finished fifth in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southern Region, six cowboys will compete at nationals. They include sophomore Trey Benton, III, a bull rider from Rock Island, Texas; freshman Reid Barker, a bull rider from Comfort, Texas; freshman Cody Kohleffel, a team roping header from East Bernard, Texas; freshman Austin Santikos, a team roping heeler from Tomball, Texas; sophomore Jesy “Bull” Austin, a team roping header from Zachary, LA; and Corey Hendrick, a team roping heeler from Rosenberg, Texas.
Benton is the bull riding regional champion and stands fourth in the world standings of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Also taking regional honors were Barker, reserve bull riding champion; Kohleffel and Santikos, reserve team roping champions; and Austin and Hendrick, fourth place in team roping.
The CNFR is scheduled for June10-16.