Among the mass cancelations, shutdowns and postponements of the fall collegiate season, the MSU Bobcat Rodeo Team managed to complete the first five events of the year. The team performed outstandingly this fall and is currently first in the Big Sky Conference for both men’s and women’s rodeo teams.
The team holds the first four individual positions for both the tie down roping and steer wrestling categories. Ann Kerns sits in first place for the women’s individual all-around with teammate Michael Faulkner in first for all-around men’s. Full results of the entire season for all Big Sky Conference teams can be found at collegerodeo.com.
“Overall the kids had a really good fall; injuries were pretty minimum and they won a lot every weekend, so it was a good start to the season,” said Andy Bolich, head coach for the Bobcat Rodeo Team. The final rodeo for the fall took place in Havre, Montana over the weekend of Oct. 2‒ 3.
The rest of the season is slated to resume in the spring as usual, though there is no guarantee given the circumstances. As of Saturday, Oct. 10, neither Bobcat Athletics or the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association have released a definitive schedule for the rest of the spring season.
In a typical season, the rodeo team competes in five events in the fall and five in the spring. All of the fall events took place in Montana and Wyoming successfully—though MSU did cancel the annual Fall Finale Jackpot Rodeo (an event with no effect on season standings). The rodeos looked quite different, with social distancing, temperature checks and mask mandates in some counties.
“We’re hopeful and optimistic that we’ll be able to host the rodeo in the [Brick Breeden] Fieldhouse,” said Bolich in regards to the spring season. “It all depends on how we’re doing as a county and what restrictions and regulations other sports will have to follow, ‘cause we’ll have to do something similar.”
The MSU Spring Rodeo is the biggest event of the entire season—fall or spring. The crowds, production and performances give the rodeo its unique quality. If the progression and reintroduction of other collegiate sporting events like basketball or football are any indication, then the rodeo team stands a good chance at competing on their own turf—though conditions are always subject to change.
For now, the Bobcat Rodeo Team is taking a much-needed break from an astonishing fall half and preparing for the prospect of a spring rodeo season that can hopefully keep pace.