FSCC will take six males for the qualifying team. The student athletes who are eligible for the CNFR this year include: Matt Croom, bareback riding; Dustin Olmstead, bull riding; Jake McKellips, bull riding; Ethan Assmann, bareback riding; Jordan Corrigan, saddlebronc riding; and Jake Self, bareback riding.
According to Chad Cross, FSCC head rodeo coach, most participants in the CNFR are college juniors and seniors, so for five sophomores and one freshman to qualify is remarkable. This is the first time since 2008 that FSCC has sent an entire team to the CNFR.
"These are good kids that work hard," Cross said. "These six individuals qualified for nationals this year, but there are 60 reasons they accomplished this. Those 60 reasons are there 60 teammates."
All participants will compete in three rounds. When the participants compete, it will be on a clean slate. The previous rodeos the students competed at through the year will have no bearing at the CNFR. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year.
Cross says, "the finalists competing are the elite from the nation. In the Central Plains Region, getting qualified by itself is a huge accomplishment."
McKellips attributes many factors to the team's success.
"Our teammates have really helped and supported us all and of course this never could have been possible without the support of the Fort Scott community," he said.
Corrigan, who came to FSCC on the recommendation of a former FSCC student, said, "Our main goal was to win the region. Even though we didn't reach that goal, by placing second we put ourselves in a position to win a national championship."
All six students were very thankful for the community's support especially to Andy Eck, Ted Osman, and Bo Casper. These individuals are products of the FSCC Rodeo program and have been very helpful week to week with the team's training.
The students are also excited about the upcoming rodeo, "The Clash" which will pit current FSCC Rodeo Team members against FSCC Alumni professionally ranked cowboys and cowgirls. That event is scheduled for May 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Arnold Arena. Proceeds will go towards the new Rodeo Office Building.
For more information on the FSCC rodeo program, contact Cross at (620) 223-2700, ext. 702. For more information on the CNFR and for daily results, visit the College National Finals Rodeo website at www.cnfr.com.