**For Immediate Release**
A Sea of Red Behind the Bucking Chutes
The Oklahoman Panhandle State Men Dominate Once Again
- Released by OPSU Campus Communications 02-26-2008
By Whitney Harding
Manhattan, Kansas -- People in Manhattan, Kansas were treated to a truly different sight this past weekend. Among the tall buildings, apartment complexes and street lights were cowboys and cowgirls all riding towards a common goal: to be on the winning team. This goal became a reality for the men of Oklahoma Panhandle State University on February 24, 2008.
Red vests were all that could be seen behind the bucking chutes on Sunday afternoon during the short-go performance of the Kansas State University College rodeo. Eight of nine qualifiers were proudly wearing their OPSU blue and red as they competed in the bronc riding. Townsend Prince walked away with the win after two stellar rides totaling 158 points, and Trell Etbauer, Seth Schaffer, Rob McGilvray, Will Shaffer, Garret Fordyce, Ryan Bestol, and Jesse Jolly then filled up the placing from second through eighth. The bareback riding saw two Panhandle men back for the short go; Karlon Knudson came back after a 68 point ride in the long go and freshman Seth Hardwick made an 72 point ride to earn his position in the short round. The bull riding saw all around winner Will Shaffer and Tyrel Larsen back to the short go where Will came out with a second place finish. Although Larsen started what looked to be a winning ride, he couldn’t finish to the whistle.
On the timed even side of things, Gabe Burrows was welcomed back to Webber arena for the short go in light of his 4.6 second steer wrestling run in the long round. Another run of 4.9 gave Gabe a second place finish in the average and some well deserved spending money for the upcoming week. Trell Etbauer was the lone Panhandle man to make it back in the calf roping, and with two runs under eleven seconds, he wound up second overall. Will Shaffer was back in the hot seat in the team roping where he and partner Tyson Beck of Colby Community College managed to put together an eight second run along with an 11.7 second run to earn themselves sixth spot in the average. Shaffer’s outstanding performance over the weekend gave him a tie for the all around with his teammate Etbauer.
The women’s luck ran slightly short this weekend with only three ladies making it back to Sunday’s performance. Krista Johnson made it back in both the goat tying and breakaway events, but came up short handed on Sunday. Both Hilary VanGerpin and Becky White came back in the barrel racing where White’s consistency paid off, giving her a fifth place finish in the average. Although the women had a tough weekend, they realize that triumph is born out of struggle and that next weekend at Garden City will be a different story.
As the winning tradition at OPSU continues, the rodeo team looks forward to more success and hopes to capitalize during the next two weekends at Garden City and Fort Scott.