Sargent cowboy Rowdy Moon will have an advantage when he climbs behind the chutes in Casper, Wyo. next week. He has been there before.
Moon qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo last year as a freshman at Mid-Plains Community College. He returns June 11-17 as a seasoned sophomore and the number one bareback rider in the Great Plains Region.
“Since I’ve been around that arena, I don’t think I’ll have quite the jitters,” said Moon. “I was pretty nervous last time. It’s a big stage.”
Moon was second in the region heading into nationals in 2016. He finished the CNFR in 19th place after riding broncs to scores of 65 and 68.
His competition included Wyatt Denny and Denny’s traveling partner Clayton Biglow. Denny won the bareback riding at the CNFR last year and Biglow came in second. The two competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo later in the year, where Biglow finished seventh in the world and Denny ended up 10th.
Being up against that kind of competition pushed Moon to work harder and adjust his technique.
“I think I’ve gotten better,” said Moon. “I have faster feet and don’t lean into my free arm as much as I used to.”
The last time he rode a bronc was early May in Dickinson, N.D. Moon took some time off competing to recover from a groin injury, but hasn’t stopped practicing.
“I’ve been on the spur board and ride horses every other day so I can work on holding my feet in the right position,” said Moon. “I’d like to at least make the short round in Casper.”
His long-term goal is to one day travel the professional rodeo circuit, but until then, Moon plans to focus on college.
He graduated from MPCC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business and a Business Administration emphasis in May. He will transfer to Chadron State College in the fall.
North Platte, Neb. – June 5, 2017 – A North Platte man will be recognized in August for his contributions to the rodeo world.
Randy Corley, who lived in North Platte for two decades, is an inductee into the 2017 Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Corley never thought he’d make a living as a rodeo announcer, and there was a teacher at Niobrara County High School in Lusk, Wyo., who concurred.
He was a high school kid, taking a speech class because it was an easy credit, and when he was asked to give a speech, it was always rodeo-related, about world champions like Larry Mahan or Jim Shoulders. The teacher did not approve. “She had threatened me a couple of times that I needed to talk about something different,” Corley recalled. “I’d always come back to rodeo.” One time, she couldn’t take it anymore. When he started yet another speech on rodeo, she “came running up and ripped the speech off the podium, and said, ‘you’ve got to think about your future. You’re not going to talk rodeo your whole life.’” Little did she know, Corley would make his living “talking rodeo.”
He was born in 1951 in Miles City, Mont., spending his school years mostly in Lusk and Lance Creek Wyo., and his summers with his granddad, Waldo Parsons, a cowboy who he idolized. “I spent every summer at his ranch, and when I got older, I’d go out in the winters and help feed cattle. He was everything to me.”
In 1977-78, he attended the Ron Bailey School of Broadcast in Seattle, then worked as a dj in Broken Bow before moving to North Platte, where he was on air at KODY AM and KX 104.
In 1979, world champion saddle bronc rider Bill Smith started a nightly rodeo series in North Platte and hired Corley to announce it. He was acquaintances with Michelle and Trent Barrett, the children of the legendary North Platte native Hadley Barrett, also a rodeo announcer. Michelle, who ran barrels, and Trent, who roped at the rodeo, insisted their dad, a rancher north of town, come to the rodeo to hear this young announcer. He did, and Corley was nervous; he knew who Hadley was, and his accomplishments in the music world and the rodeo world.
Hadley was impressed but wanted to hear Corley announce when he wasn’t aware of Hadley being in the audience. So the next week, Hadley made a trip to town for tractor parts, and again visited the rodeo, this time unannounced. He liked what he heard. A few weeks later, he asked Corley if he’d be interested in getting his PRCA card. Corley was, and Hadley assisted him in becoming a PRCA member.
That was in 1980, and four years later, Corley won the PRCA’s Announcer of the Year award, an honor he would win eleven more times throughout his career, the most of any other announcer, in 1990-1996, 1998, 2003, 2011 and 2015.
Throughout Corley’s career, he has announced rodeos across the nation: the big ones, and the little ones alike: North Platte; Puyallup, Wash.; Caldwell, Ida.; the RAM National Circuit Finals; Tucson, Ariz.; San Antonio, Texas; Phillipsburg and Pretty Prairie, Kan., and dozens more. He was selected to announce the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo sixteen times.
He worked alongside his father-in-law at five rodeos: North Platte, San Antonio and Waco, Texas, Caldwell, Idaho, and Puyallup, Wash., till Barrett passed away on March 2 of this year.
Corley vividly remembers what Barrett said after the final performance in San Antonio on Feb. 26, four days before he passed. “He laid his mike down, and said, that is the best rodeo I have announced in my life.”
Corley and Barrett were good friends as much as they were son-in-law and father-in-law, and Corley relates a funny story Barrett told years ago. When he first started, Barrett asked him to live in on the ranch, to help take care of things when Barrett was on the road. By that point, Corley and Michelle were dating; they married in 1984. “I thought it would be nice to have somebody to help out when I wasn’t around,” Barrett said. “I made Randy a deal, and I thought he had good values. What I didn’t realize was, his values were my valuables: my clothes, the food in my refrigerator, my rodeos, and my daughter.”
Barrett was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1999, and now eighteen years later, Corley follows him. The ceremony is the first weekend of August. It was a team effort, he insists, throughout his career. “I need about 500 or 600 people to come up to the podium with me,” he joked. “There are a lot of people to thank, more than I can pinpoint. It’s stock contractors, great committees, really good entertainers and rodeo clowns and bullfighters and sound people that I’ve gotten to work with. It’s all the people that make those rodeos happen, and have given me a place to shine. All of them exemplify what the announcer does.”
Corley knows the North Platte rodeo fans will miss Hadley; this will be the first time since 1964 that Hadley has not been behind the mike at the rodeo. He’s been preparing himself. “It’s something I’ve talked to God about every day,” he said. “I have to go into that rodeo, and make it good.” A special tribute will be done for Hadley; it won’t be sad, Corley said, but “we’ll pay tribute in a special way. We’ll hear Hadley.”
Corley and his wife Michelle moved to Silverdale, Washington in 2001. Corley has two daughters, Kassi and Amanda, and together the couple has a son, Cole, and a daughter, Brittany.
He is honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and thankful for his life. “I realize more and more every day, how we don’t have the control we think we do. You can place it all in God’s hands, and it’s how God planned it.”
The other inductees into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame are the late Buck Rutherford (all-around champion, 1954), Enoch Walker (saddle bronc riding champion, 1960), Tommy Puryear (steer wrestling champion, 1974), Mike Beers (team roping champion, 1984), Cody Custer (bull riding champion, 1992), Bob Ragsdale (22-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier), Christensen Bros.’ Smith & Velvet, (four-time bareback horse of the year), and the committee for the Ogden (Utah) Pioneer Days.
The Buffalo Bill Rodeo takes place June 14-17 at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. It begins at 8 pm nightly. Tickets range in price from $7 to $20 and can be purchased online at www.NebraskalandDays.com, at the gate, or at the office at 2801 Charlie Evans Drive (at the Wild West Arena in North Platte.) For more information, visit the website or call 308.532.7939.
The Nebraska School Activities Association is pleased to announce the final standings for The NSAA Cup, the NSAA All-Activities Award for Nebraska high schools. The annual awards program began in the fall of 2006 to recognize the state’s most successful high school athletic and fine arts programs, presents awards to the 12 Nebraska high schools which earn the most points during the school year by participating in NSAA education-based activity programs.
This all-activities (fine arts and sports), all-school recognition platform recognizes the “Best of the Best” each year in NSAA programs. The NSAA Cup is presented to the winning schools in the four classes of the All-School Division, Girls Division and Boys Division during special ceremonies the following fall.
Each year the NSAA recognizes the most successful activities programs in the state with the NSAA Cup. Winners are determined by a point system based on participation in NSAA education-based activities and performance in state championship events within each division and class. Music, which does not have a state-level event, earns points based on participation at the district music contest.
The boys and girls competition in each class features schools earning participation and performance points from their respective activities. In the all-school division, schools receive participation points for each of its NSAA registered programs, and earn additional points for placing in NSAA championship events. All schools, which finish in the top eight positions (plus any ties) in a state championship event, receive points. In activities’ championships involving cooperative agreements, each of the schools in the cooperative will earn the points for that respective event providing they have at least one student participating on the cooperative varsity team.
In playoff events involving teams in a split classification, the same top eight positions in that event’s class (ex. D1 and D2) will earn full points for their class competition. If there are fewer than eight schools from a classification in the event, only those schools represented, are eligible to receive points.
Championship performance points are awarded for all activities championship events as follows:
First place – 50 points
Second place – 45 points
Third place – 40 points
Fourth place – 35 points
Fifth place – 30 points
Sixth place – 25 points
Seventh place – 20 points
Eighth place – 15 points
The Nebraska School Activities Association has awarded the community of North Platte the Class D Boys State Golf Championship for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. North Platte has previously hosted the tournament in 2016 and 2017.
Visitors Bureau staff Courtney Fegter submitted the bid online to the NSAA Board of Directors. According to Fegter, Sports Tourism Specialist with the North Platte / Lincoln County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Championships will be played at Lake Maloney Golf Course.
“The community of North Platte and host course Lake Maloney Golf Club received high accolades from coaches and competitors in the past two tournaments we hosted,” says Fegter. “The enthusiasm and professionalism of our volunteers, and the well-run golf course all helped to convince the NSAA to award the tournament to North Platte for the next three years.”
Just under 100 competitors participated in the championship tournaments in 2016 and 2017. Class D, which is comprised of the smallest schools with boys’ golf programs, many located in out-state Nebraska, traditionally travels very well. Many fans, friends and family make the trip to North Platte to watch the competition. Based on a formula provided by the National Association of Sports Commissions, the participants and their followers account for an estimated $40,000 in direct travel spending in North Platte each year.
Lisa Burke, Executive Director of the Visitors Bureau said, “This tournament kicks off at the perfect time of year, when the peak summer travel season is just beginning. Attracting hundreds of additional visitors to our community, for two or three days in May, benefits our retail shops, service stations, restaurants and lodging. The money the visitors spend is respent a number of times throughout North Platte, benefiting the entire community.”
In addition to the award of the Class D championship to North Platte, the NSAA awarded Class A to Norfolk and Class B to Columbus, and Class C to Kearney. North Platte had previously been awarded the Class C Girls State Golf Championships for the years 2017 – 2019, after having hosted the October tournament in 2015 and 2016.
North Platte – Two sophomores from the Region IX Division II champion North Platte Community College Knights softball team, Shelby Belloni and Samantha Gill and have signed letters of intent to play at the next level for the 2017-18 season.
Shelby Belloni, who is from Wheat Ridge, Colo., has signed a letter of intent to play for the Friends University Falcons in Wichita, Kans. Friends is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics college that participates in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. They finished this past season with a 33-13 record and 16-6 in the KCAC. The Falcons finished in third place in the regular season KCAC standings.
Belloni, an outfielder, started in 100 games while at NPCC, batted .462 during her career with 20 doubles, four home runs, and 46 stolen bases in 48 attempts. Belloni also had an .874 fielding percentage with 161 total chances and 16 defensive assists.
Knights Head Coach Janelle Higgins said, “Our outfielders will have some big shoes to fill as Shelby heads on to Friends University. Shelby’s willingness to play wherever she was needed will be an adjustment, playing all over the outfield and even a few games on the infield was a huge advantage for us this year. In her two years here, she started almost every game and her bat and fielding will be missed. She has the determination and drive to be very successful at Friends.”
Samantha Gill, from LaSalle, Colo, signed a letter of intent to play for the Black Hills State University Yellow Jackets in Spearfish, S. D.
The Yellow Jackets are a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division Two college, and are members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. They finished the 2017 season with a 7-37 record overall and 5-31 in the conference.
Gill, primarily played catcher for the Knights during her two years and a few games at first and second bases. Gill had a .454 batting average in her two years with the Knights, a .621 slugging percentage with 18 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, and eight stolen bases in nine attempts.
Defensively, Gill had a career fielding percentage of .962, which is the best fielding percentage in the history of the Knights softball program. She had 343 total chances, 286 put outs, and 13 errors, which is the fewest in history of the school over two years.
“It will be an adjustment not to have Sami in our line up next year as she has been a consistent player for two years, her knowledge and game time experience will help her be an asset right away at BHSU.” Higgins said, “Her work ethic and commitment to the game and our program she has shown the last two years are leaving big shoes to fill by incoming freshman.”
Higgins said, “Both young ladies will be missed on and off the field as they gave so much to our community and our program as a whole.”
North Platte – North Platte Community College Lady Knight volleyball player MaKenna Ketter has signed a letter of intent to play for Benedictine College, located in Atchison, Kan., for the 2017 season.
Ketter, who is from Imperial, played the past two seasons for the Lady Knights. In her career, Ketter had 582 kills, 79 blocks, and 252 digs.
“I’m glad that MaKenna decided to play next year. I think she has recovered well from her shoulder surgery and deserves another attempt at volleyball.“, Lady Knight Head Coach, Alexa McCall said, “She is an athletic player and I think she will continue to get better. She does a great job in serve receive and I think she will continue to gain strength with her attacking.”
Benedictine College belongs to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and is a member of the Heart of America Conference. Benedictine finished last season at 8-19.
North Platte – North Platte Community College Knights basketball player Samuel Kearns has signed a national letter of intent to play his final three seasons of eligibility with the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles in Tulsa, Okla.
Kearns, a 6’0 freshman point guard, who came to NPCC from San Antonio, Texas, played one season for the Knights. Kearns, in his one season, score 12.8 points per game, had 3.1 assists per game and 2.6 rebounds per game. He was fourth in the nation in three-point shooting percentage at 53.4 percent, going 63 for 118 from behind the arc.
Kearns received First team All-Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference Honors and Second Team All-Nebraska Honors.
Knights Head Coach Kevin O’Connor said, “Obviously we are sad to see him leave but at the same time we are extremely happy for him as that was his goal when he came to NPCC. We will miss his tremendous talent but more importantly we will miss the leadership and character he displayed while he was here.”
The Golden Eagles are a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division One program. They are a member of the Summit League. University of Nebraska at Omaha is also in that conference.
“On my way home from North Platte, they (Oral Roberts) asked me to come for a visit. “ Kearns said, “It just felt like a great fit.”
North Platte – Victor Lewis, who played basketball for the North Platte Community College Knights the past two seasons has signed a national letter of intent with the West Texas A&M Buffaloes, located in Amarillo, Texas for the 2017-18 basketball season.
The Buffaloes are a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division Two program, competing in the Lone Star Conference. They finished the 2016-17 season with a 26-9 record and 12-6 in the conference, losing to Texas A&M-Kingsville in the conference championship game. The Buffaloes qualified for the NCAA South Central Regionals, going 2-1.
Lewis, a 6’4” guard from Arlington, Texas, averaged 9.4 points per game in 53 games for the Knights. During his sophomore season, Lewis averaged 10.7 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, and 1.8 assists per game.
Lewis said that he chose West Texas A&M because of their strong business and medical programs. Lewis is going to major in healthcare management and minor in sports and athletic sciences.
“It is a top-tier school academically” Lewis said, “About 90 percent of the graduates have jobs before they graduate. It will give me a chance to suceed after my basketball playing days are over”
Lewis is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an academic honors society for two-year colleges.
Lewis said, “We will compete against some of the top teams in the country, including a possible exhibition against major Division I colleges.
North Platte – North Platte Community College Lady Knights Basketball team has announced the signing of Tiara Hartfield of Houston, Texas to a national letter of intent for the 2017-18 season.
Hartfield, a 6’ 2” post player played for KIPP Sunnyside High School, where she averaged 10.3 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game during her senior season. She also averaged 3.5 blocks per game her senior season.
Lady Knight Interim Head Coach Ashley Bell said, “I am very pleased and excited to have her next year. She is going to give us the size and strength we need in the post position.”
Hartfield is Bell’s first recruit for the 2017-18 season