Rodeo team holds on to #1 spot


Kraig Cain

Tyler Johnson won the bareback competition in the Northeast Texas Community College Rodeo.

The Panola College Men’s Rodeo Team held on to the number one spot in the Southern Region after traveling to Mt. Pleasant for the third Southern Region Rodeo October 19-20.  Coach Jeff Collins and his team, looking to land one of the top two spots for the opportunity to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in June, had another good showing at the Northeast Texas Community College Rodeo. Panola had four guys that led the way and earned points for the team.

Tyler Johnson, a sophomore from Athens, won the bareback riding with a score of 78 points. Tyler is having a great year after rebounding from the broken leg that knocked him out last year.  “Tyler was a key part of our team last season, and we are so proud he is back and expect great things from him this season,” said Coach Collins.

Travis Chapman, from Spurger, was not far behind Tyler, scoring a 77 in the bareback riding for a 2nd place finish. Chapman qualified for his first trip to the CNFR last season and placed 4th in the nation.  “Travis is set on winning a National title this season in the bareback riding,” said Coach Collins. “I have every bit of confidence he can achieve that goal.  I just have to remind him and all my players to take it one rodeo at a time. Athletes in the rodeo world can get wrapped up in the big picture, and we just need to stay calm and take care of what’s important now.”

Logan Cook, last year’s Southern Region All-Around Champion from Alto, showed why he was the champ by placing 5th in tie-down roping and 5th in saddle bronc.  “Logan is a great athlete. He has been to the CNFR the last two seasons and understands what it takes to get there.  I am excited about his season and his career once he leaves here and moves on to pro rodeos,” said Coach Collins.

Macon Murphy, a freshman from Keatchie, LA, rounded out the scoring for the Panola Team as he placed 8th in the tie-down calf roping.  Murphy has been placing a lot and Coach Collins had this to say: “Macon is one of the hardest workers on this team. He handles his business and is always prepared to win. I love his attitude and his work ethic. Macon has become a strong player for us, and is set for a good future in rodeo!”

The Rodeo Team travels to Lake Charles, LA for the McNeese State University Rodeo on October 26-27 for the 4th of the 5 Fall Southern Region Rodeo events.