LCCC rodeo team looks to the future

Adapting to change

Change is inevitable and that’s exactly what the Laramie County Community College (LCCC) rodeo team is experiencing. Second year coach Beau Clark is trying to recruit and build a team that has consistent values. This spring, Beau will be finishing up his second year of coaching and is looking for new ways to continue to build this program.

“Over the last year we’ve grown and are still in the process of changing the idea of LCCC rodeo,” Beau said. “Our recruiting process has completely changed and has allowed us to go far and wide in finding quality students to add to our team.”

The number of out of state students coming to the LCCC rodeo team is increasing every year. This year, team members are from South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and even Canada.

“I just try to ask my current kids who they know from back home to get an idea of who I should be recruiting for the following year,” Beau said. “I get those kids who have consistently worked hard both in the classroom as well as in the arena and find those similar to them.”

Those values that Clark strives to portray include honesty, integrity, resilience and grit. Beau looks at each day as an opportunity to grow these values as an individual as well as guide and mentor his student athletes.

Student Athletes

Austin Hurlburt and Georgie Lage are new recruits this year from Nebraska who have been competing since they were both very young. Austin competes in the tie down roping, steer wrestling and team roping while Georgie competes in team roping and breakaway roping.

“I like the calf roping the best because there’s just nothing like clicking with a good calf horse,” Austin said. “Just that slide stop and then they go to working rope. There’s just nothing quite like it.”

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Austin Hurlburt competes in the calf roping. Photo courtesy of Annette Palmer.

While there are many reasons the two both said they chose LCCC to further their education, there were two that the two students were adamant about.

“This is a college rodeo kid’s dream place because of the number of cattle we get to rope every day,” Georgie said. “We didn’t have this opportunity back home and that plus the incredible coaching staff is why I came here.”

While getting to rope as much as possible under a decorated coaching staff was great, the two both know that it takes more than that to have a great program.

Community support

Lisa Murphy of the LCCC Foundation has been a key part in supporting LCCC rodeo. As a former Miss Rodeo Wyoming, Cheyenne Frontier Days Board of Director and Cheyenne native, Lisa loves the sport of rodeo as well as the community surrounding her.

Lisa has been involved with the rodeo team since 2007 and has been a big part in fundraising efforts to help with the production of the Shawn Duby Memorial rodeo hosted at LCCC each year as well as the Shawn Duby Memorial Scholarship fund.

“We started out with just getting chute gate sponsors which made us about $20,000 each year,” Lisa said. “It takes about $12,000 to put on the rodeo and the remainder of that money we put towards the scholarship fund.”

When Lisa started helping with the rodeo team, they had about $30,000 in the scholarship fund. The fund now has somewhere around $300,000 and their ultimate goal is to get that amount up to $1 million.

Over the last two years, the team has really put forth an incredible effort to help fundraise. In addition to hosting the event and providing most of the auction items, the team also sells calendars to people in the community as well as local businesses. The calendars feature every student on the team and highlight 12 different members in their respective events for each month.

“It was truly incredible when we presented the team with the idea of Lariats-n-Lace because they all took a stand and offered to help gather all of the auction items,” Lisa said. “I think that because the items are donated by the students, it shows the community just how hard they are willing to work and gives them more incentive to help the team.”

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Student athletes Caydee Johnson and Georgie Lage pose with coach Beau Clark at the Lariats-n-Lace event. Photo courtesy of Georgie Lage.

At this year’s Lariats-n-Lace event, Beau stressed the importance of hard work in both the arena and the classroom and added that “the overall GPA for the team was above a 3.0 and just for the women’s team was above a 3.5.”

“Honestly, I wouldn’t have gotten this far in my two years here if it wasn’t for Lisa,” Beau Said. “She has been so helpful and she just knows all the right people to include that will come to our event and help support these kids.”

Due to an equine virus, the Shawn Duby Memorial Rodeo scheduled for last fall has now been moved and will be hosted in Cheyenne March 2-4. The team looks forward to putting on the event and hosting many individuals who have been there to support them throughout this rodeo season.

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What to expect

After reviewing blogs from previous students of this class, I am expecting to dig deeper than my current knowledge into several different media platforms. I am most interested in learning about video and photography as I have not done a whole lot in these areas. I anticipate that I will learn and develop basic skills in these areas and get a good taste of each.

I anticipate to gain a wide range of skills in which kind of media would be most appropriate to use in different situations. I personally have never worked much with information visualization either and have a hard time seeing when graphs and charts could be the best option to report on something. I look forward to exploring ideas and ways to report on different events through a more visual aspect and learning more about this type of media.

Some things I look forward to reporting on are the live events. I love watching live sports and am excited to test my ability to keep a social media account updated in a quick manner. I hope to report on the basketball teams and would like to dig a little deeper into their team aspect and how that transitions on and off the court.

Image may contain: 2 people, people playing sports, basketball court and shoes

Photos courtesy DJ Johnson, KFBC/Cowboy State News Network

I grew up in Burns, Wyoming, a small community in the very most southeastern part of our state. Currently as a red-shirt freshman, there is an individual that attended my rival school. Though our age difference is significant, I still got to watch this individual play through high school and find it absolutely incredible that he gets to play for his home state university. I think it would make a very interesting story to get his perspective from growing up in a town of about 1500 to going to play to the University of Wyoming as a “home grown” kid. I also think it’d be interesting to get to know about his experience as a red-shirt vs being an active player on the team.

Something I have always had an interest in is skiing and snowboarding. I have been granted the opportunity to learn how to do both, though I ski a bit better than I do snowboard. One interesting and humorous story that has come to mind with a ski resort so close to us is to do a report on the slight “diggers” that people take. I am one of those and this previous weekend, I would be willing to bet the snow met my face at least three different times (I was on my snowboard). Not only did I fall though, I witnessed several other people make the same silly mistakes that I did. I think an audio/video report of these could make for a very popular story as I can only imagine how many laughs it would provide.

Outside of sports, with an election of new Governor coming soon to our state and the recent list of those who have dropped out of the race, I think this would be a very interesting topic to explore since our state will likely be experiencing a big change. With many candidates looking for as much exposure through our state as possible, I see this as a fun opportunity to reach out to some of those candidates and get an idea of what they’re about, what they’re campaign is centered around and get a deeper understanding of what kind of a person they are such as Harriet Hageman or Bill Dahlin. One topic of discussion I would look forward to as a college student is what they think their impact will leave on young adults.

Overall, I am very excited about this course and look forward to learning a variety of skills that will take me to the next level and further aide in a future career. I think this course will challenge me as I am not as familiar with some of these types of media as I wish to be.