The rodeo team has the potential to be the strongest the school has had in years and, “Possible contenders for the National Title,” says rodeo coach Shane Draper.

“We have had good teams in the past, but this year’s team looks to be the best since I have been here,” Draper said.

The men’s team has three riders recently returned from LDS missions that will add depth to the already talented group. The bareback team ranks in the nation’s top 25 elite teams, while the bull riding squad stands in the top 30. Last year’s team had eight riders make it to the finals and five that ended in the top 12.

In order for a team to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., the school needs to finish as one of the top two in the region. For individual admittance, the top three participants in each event within the region also qualify.

The competition the team faces within the region consists of Southern Utah, Utah State, Weber State, Idaho State, the College of Southern Idaho, Dixie State and Colorado Northwest Community College.

On the men’s side, the team competes perennially for the top spot in the region with the College of Southern Idaho. The women’s team also looks like they could be contenders for the region; primarily, the rivalry is with the College of Southern Idaho, Weber State and Idaho State.

All of these teams will meet for the first time this season on Sept. 10-11 in Cedar City for the first rodeo of the season. Draper, along with the rest of the team, are looking forward to a new year of rodeo competition and are excited for the upcoming season.