HATTIESBURG — The Pearl River rodeo team concluded its first event of the season this past weekend when it hosted the second Ozark Region Rodeo at the James Lynn Cartlidge Multi-Purpose Center in Hattiesburg.
The rodeo featured over 250 contestants from 16 schools and featured nine different competitions that included bareback riding, calf roping, break away roping, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, goat tying and bull riding.
Second-year head coach Robby Shaw was impressed with both the event and the performance of his Wildcats.
PRCC finished sixth in the women's category with 90 points.
Missouri Valley College took home first place in the men's division with 1,000 points while the University of Tennessee-Martin finished first in the women's division with 380 points.
"Considering it was the first event of the year, and we lost one of our best ropers just a week ago, I thought our team did great," Shaw said.
Returning sophomore Chase Graves was lost for the year last week after suffering a broken arm.
"We had some people out for the first event and that definitely hurt us as a team but I thought we met our expectations and goals," Shaw said.
Jesse Pope of Missouri Valley College won first place in bareback riding with 175 points.
Sophomore Tyler Stewart (Brandon) competed in bareback riding but did not qualify past the first round.
Tyler Holder (Lucedale; George County High) competed in the saddle bronc riding competition for PRCC but did not.
Sophomore Carli Hodges (Summerdale, Alabama) showed a lot of grit at the event, making it all the way to the championship round for barrel racing.She finished fourth with 90 points.
Ryan McDaniel of UTM took home first place in bull riding with 60 total points.
PRCC's Adam Chanell (Seminary; Forrest County AHS) and JT Brown (Mendenhall) also competed in bull riding but did not advance past the first round.
Ryder Ladner placed first in calf roping with 180 points for the University of West Alabama.
Josie Powell placed first in breakaway roping with 127.5 points for Murray State University.
Briar Dittmer placed first in saddle bronc riding with 170 points for Missouri Valley College.
Roy Lee for Missouri Valley College placed first in steer wrestling with 160 points.
Jacie Sullivan placed first in goat tying for Southern Arkansas University with 140 total points.
Clay Tilley of UTM and Cade Cowan of Northwest Community College tied for first in team roping with 135 points.
Chappell Morgan of Missouri Valley College took home first place in barrel racing with 160 total points.
Shaw was also pleased with the turnout for the event.
"We had over 250 contestants as far as participation goals, they were all over from the Ozark Region and I thought the attendance was pretty good," he said.
Shaw did point out one of his favorite moments of the weekend was when they honored the Homes of Hope foundation, which specializes in assisting underprivileged foster children.
"It's an awesome part of the job when myself and the kids can give back to those less fortunate then us," he said. "It really touched my heart."
A big takeaway for Shaw was the leadership he saw from several members of his team who took the initiative to assist in setting up the event.
"The kids who stepped up this past week really helped me with the workload," he said. "We had some kids step up and become leaders this week and that is a really good sign for us as we head into the season."
The next event for the rodeo team will be when they head to Marshall, Missouri, on Thursday to compete in the Missouri Valley College Rodeo.
Ozark Region Rodeo