EMCC was the reserve champion of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region.
EMCC was the reserve champion of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region.
From school reports



East Mississippi Community College’s 13th-ranked men’s rodeo team is making a school-first team appearance at the College National Finals Rodeo this week  in Casper, Wyoming. Competition slated began Sunday in the week-long CNFR and will conclude with Saturday night’s championship round at the Casper Events Center.

Coach Morgan Goodrich’s EMCC Lions qualified for their first-ever CNFR team appearance by finishing as this year’s reserve champions of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region with 4,710 cumulative team points earned during 10 regional events split between the fall and spring campaigns. Along with reigning CNFR all-around champion cowboy and tie down roping national champion Marcus Theriot returning to Wyoming to defend his individual titles, EMCC will also be represented this coming week by Tristan Martin, Jace Harris, Ethan Wheeler and Cooper Christensen.

This year’s College National Finals Rodeo will be broadcast on ESPN3, a 24/7 live digital network available via the WatchESPN app, beginning Wednesday and running through Saturday night’s finals.  Viewers are encouraged to contact their internet providers for more information or check out http://espn.go.com/watchespn/faq to access frequently asked questions.  Following three rounds of slack and performance competitions that take place through Friday night, Saturday evening features the short-go championship rounds in all nine events.  Online results from this year’s CNFR will be available throughout the week at www.CNFR.com.

Theriot will again look to headline EMCC’s rodeo quintet at nationals by having repeated as the Ozark Region’s all-around men’s champion while ranking second nationally with 2,200 total points earned during the 2016-17 rodeo season.  The Poplarville native also claimed the Ozark Region’s tie down roping (730 points) and team roping header (815) championships for the second straight year to respectively rank ninth and third nationally.  Theriot also repeated as the region’s reserve champion in steer wrestling (655 points) this past year.

Rated eighth among the Ozark Region’s all-around men’s leaders, EMCC’s Martin will also compete in the tie down roping and steer wrestling events.  The McNeese State University transfer from Sulphur, Louisiana was the region’s fifth-ranked tie down roper and No. 6 steer wrestler.  Christensen, a North Pontotoc High School product, will participate in the CNFR’s steer wrestling event along with teammates Theriot and Martin.

In the team roping competition, Theriot will partner with UT Martin’s Douglas Rich.  EMCC’s Harris, the Ozark Region’s top-ranked heeler will team with Cooper Lee out of Southern Arkansas University, while Wheeler, the region’s No. 3 heeler, will pair with UT Martin’s Ross Mitchell.

Highlighted by their school-best, fifth-place national finish at last year’s CNFR on the strength of Theriot’s pair of individual titles, the EMCC Lions have been previously represented at nationals by individual qualifiers during each of the past six years since the program’s inception in 2010.