Gillette College rodeo team leads Central Rocky Mountain Region | TSLN.com

Gillette College rodeo team leads Central Rocky Mountain Region

Johnny's Photo courtesy Gillette CollegeCole Elshere of Faith, SD is leading the saddle bronc standings in the Central Rocky Mountain Region. He is in seventh place in bull riding and also competes in team roping.

College rodeo has completed the fall season and Gillette College’s rodeo team has put that town and school on the map. The fledgling rodeo program, started just three years ago, has become a force to contend with in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Leading the Central Rocky Mountain Region with both the men’s and women’s teams, the men’s team is also fourth in the nation, with the women’s team at number six. Their goal is to send the top six men and women to nationals as a team, and they certainly have the talent to do it.

Will LaDuke, rodeo coach for Gillette College, came on board specifically to build the rodeo program at Gillette.

“I got hired on in December of ’05 to recruit a team for the fall season of ’06,” says LaDuke, a native of Dickinson, ND. The North Dakota State University graduate has an Agricultural Education degree and was a Vo-Ag teacher at Belle Fourche, SD, before moving to Gillette. LaDuke grew up in a rodeo family and has roped calves and steers in amateur and circuit rodeos for about 12 years, so is knowledgeable in all aspects of the rodeo field.

The powerful rodeo team that has developed at Gillette draws on talent from a huge area. LaDuke says, “I think our school is really good. The tuition rate and the costs for college are pretty competitive. We have a lot of scholarship money, so the rodeo athletes are able to come here on a scholarship and get a good education along with it.”

He believes the small classroom sizes help the students get a lot of attention, and says, “The new student housing is really good and that makes it easier for the kids coming here too.” The size of the school, with 900-1,000 students, gives it a small town feeling, making it comfortable for the students as well.

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“Along with the scholarships, the school helps with the expenses for the program,” says LaDuke. He also applauds the town of Gillette, “Gillette has really gotten behind this rodeo program, and that has helped us to be really competitive.”

He also points out that they have one of the most extensive practice schedules for rough stock of any school in the nation, saying, “The rough stock end of things is good because of the Burch family. They donate the use of the rough stock for the kids and bring really good stock to the practices. The practices are run really well with good pickup men and bull fighters. We have 25-30 practices a year, which is a lot for rough stock.”

The Gillette team works all of the events with their talented roster. The men’s team (with place in standings) consists of: Will Bagley, Baker, MT, Saddle Broncs (13th); Tucker Brengle, Buffalo, SD, Barebacks (8th); Casey Cash, Gillette,WY, Bull Riding; Cole Dorenkamp, Lamar, CO, Steer Wrestling (splitting 7th), Team Roping (9th, header), and Tie Down Roping (5th); Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, Bull Riding (7th) and Saddle Broncs (1st) and Team Roping; Chason Floyd, Ludlow, SD, Saddle Broncs (11th), Steer Wrestling (4th), Team Roping and Tie Down Roping; Jake Gill, Sheridan,WY, Team Roping and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th);

John Herman, Gillette, WY, Bull Riding; Tyson Holden, Gillette, WY, Team Roping (3rd, header) and Tie Down Roping; Cotter Kinghorn, Buffalo, WY, Team Roping (split 15th, heeler) and Tie Down Roping; Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, Team Roping (3rd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th); K.C. Longbrake, Interior, SD, Saddle Broncs; Chancy Miller, Faith, SD, Saddle Broncs (4th); CJ Pesicka, Timber Lake, SD, Bull Riding (14th); Nathan Schaper, Grassy Butte, ND, Bull Riding (2nd); Dustin Smith, Burns, WY, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (2nd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (10th).

Women’s Team (with place in standings): Sammi Berry, Interior, SD, Barrels; Hannah Brown, Faith, SD, Breakaway and Goat Tying; Jessica Giersiepen, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Barrels (7th); Anna Haaland, Pryor, MT, Barrels, Breakaway (9th), and Team Roping; Misty McPherson, Piedmont, SD, Barrels, Breakaway, Team Roping; Chelsea Moore, I Pounce Coupe, British Columbia, Barrels (split 4th), Breakaway (three way tie 10th), Goat Tying (5th) and Team Roping, and All Around (2nd); Ashley Reynolds, Gillette, WY, Breakaway and Goat Tying; K.T. Schaffer, Broadus, MT, Barrels, Breakaway, and Goat Tying; Jordan Thurston, Lance Creek, WY, Barrels, Breakaway (8th), and Goat Tying (2nd); Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, Barrels (split 4th).

“Our goal is to make the CNFR with both teams and we’d like to win the region,” says LaDuke, “and we’re in a really tight race with Riverton’s tough team.” The spring season starts up again on March 26, 2010 at Torrington, WY, and there are five rodeos before the College finals in Casper, WY.

The Gillette rodeo team will continue with practice all winter, plus many of them are involved in other rodeos as well.

“Several have their PRCA permits or are ready to buy them, and there are some Dodge Circuit finals qualifiers,” says LaDuke. “I believe I have some students that will be able to make a living competing in rodeo once college is over, and since rodeo doesn’t last forever, I’m thankful they’ll have a degree once they’re done.”

An interesting feature of the Gillette rodeo team, according to LaDuke, is how many of them came from the same high school rodeo region in South Dakota.

“Seven of the team members were in the Northwest Region, and that is a tough region,” says LaDuke, continuing, “I think the regional system makes for tougher competitors because it all comes down to the points from only four performances, and they have to be really on their game at those two rodeos or they don’t make it to state.” He added, “It’s not a trailer race in South Dakota, so that really focuses those kids.”

As for the Gillette College Rodeo team, LaDuke says, “A lot of these kids will be back next year and I look for us to have a strong program. I’ll be looking for some more recruits, too.”

The rodeo program isn’t the only reason to go to college at Gillette, but it would appear that it has a lot of bearing on the rodeo talent to be found there. Will LaDuke plays a big role in the success of the program as the rodeo coach, and says, “This job has sure been a good fit and I really enjoy working with these kids.”

By all accounts, these talented young athletes feel the same way about him.

College rodeo has completed the fall season and Gillette College’s rodeo team has put that town and school on the map. The fledgling rodeo program, started just three years ago, has become a force to contend with in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Leading the Central Rocky Mountain Region with both the men’s and women’s teams, the men’s team is also fourth in the nation, with the women’s team at number six. Their goal is to send the top six men and women to nationals as a team, and they certainly have the talent to do it.

Will LaDuke, rodeo coach for Gillette College, came on board specifically to build the rodeo program at Gillette.

“I got hired on in December of ’05 to recruit a team for the fall season of ’06,” says LaDuke, a native of Dickinson, ND. The North Dakota State University graduate has an Agricultural Education degree and was a Vo-Ag teacher at Belle Fourche, SD, before moving to Gillette. LaDuke grew up in a rodeo family and has roped calves and steers in amateur and circuit rodeos for about 12 years, so is knowledgeable in all aspects of the rodeo field.

The powerful rodeo team that has developed at Gillette draws on talent from a huge area. LaDuke says, “I think our school is really good. The tuition rate and the costs for college are pretty competitive. We have a lot of scholarship money, so the rodeo athletes are able to come here on a scholarship and get a good education along with it.”

He believes the small classroom sizes help the students get a lot of attention, and says, “The new student housing is really good and that makes it easier for the kids coming here too.” The size of the school, with 900-1,000 students, gives it a small town feeling, making it comfortable for the students as well.

“Along with the scholarships, the school helps with the expenses for the program,” says LaDuke. He also applauds the town of Gillette, “Gillette has really gotten behind this rodeo program, and that has helped us to be really competitive.”

He also points out that they have one of the most extensive practice schedules for rough stock of any school in the nation, saying, “The rough stock end of things is good because of the Burch family. They donate the use of the rough stock for the kids and bring really good stock to the practices. The practices are run really well with good pickup men and bull fighters. We have 25-30 practices a year, which is a lot for rough stock.”

The Gillette team works all of the events with their talented roster. The men’s team (with place in standings) consists of: Will Bagley, Baker, MT, Saddle Broncs (13th); Tucker Brengle, Buffalo, SD, Barebacks (8th); Casey Cash, Gillette,WY, Bull Riding; Cole Dorenkamp, Lamar, CO, Steer Wrestling (splitting 7th), Team Roping (9th, header), and Tie Down Roping (5th); Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, Bull Riding (7th) and Saddle Broncs (1st) and Team Roping; Chason Floyd, Ludlow, SD, Saddle Broncs (11th), Steer Wrestling (4th), Team Roping and Tie Down Roping; Jake Gill, Sheridan,WY, Team Roping and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th);

John Herman, Gillette, WY, Bull Riding; Tyson Holden, Gillette, WY, Team Roping (3rd, header) and Tie Down Roping; Cotter Kinghorn, Buffalo, WY, Team Roping (split 15th, heeler) and Tie Down Roping; Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, Team Roping (3rd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th); K.C. Longbrake, Interior, SD, Saddle Broncs; Chancy Miller, Faith, SD, Saddle Broncs (4th); CJ Pesicka, Timber Lake, SD, Bull Riding (14th); Nathan Schaper, Grassy Butte, ND, Bull Riding (2nd); Dustin Smith, Burns, WY, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (2nd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (10th).

Women’s Team (with place in standings): Sammi Berry, Interior, SD, Barrels; Hannah Brown, Faith, SD, Breakaway and Goat Tying; Jessica Giersiepen, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Barrels (7th); Anna Haaland, Pryor, MT, Barrels, Breakaway (9th), and Team Roping; Misty McPherson, Piedmont, SD, Barrels, Breakaway, Team Roping; Chelsea Moore, I Pounce Coupe, British Columbia, Barrels (split 4th), Breakaway (three way tie 10th), Goat Tying (5th) and Team Roping, and All Around (2nd); Ashley Reynolds, Gillette, WY, Breakaway and Goat Tying; K.T. Schaffer, Broadus, MT, Barrels, Breakaway, and Goat Tying; Jordan Thurston, Lance Creek, WY, Barrels, Breakaway (8th), and Goat Tying (2nd); Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, Barrels (split 4th).

“Our goal is to make the CNFR with both teams and we’d like to win the region,” says LaDuke, “and we’re in a really tight race with Riverton’s tough team.” The spring season starts up again on March 26, 2010 at Torrington, WY, and there are five rodeos before the College finals in Casper, WY.

The Gillette rodeo team will continue with practice all winter, plus many of them are involved in other rodeos as well.

“Several have their PRCA permits or are ready to buy them, and there are some Dodge Circuit finals qualifiers,” says LaDuke. “I believe I have some students that will be able to make a living competing in rodeo once college is over, and since rodeo doesn’t last forever, I’m thankful they’ll have a degree once they’re done.”

An interesting feature of the Gillette rodeo team, according to LaDuke, is how many of them came from the same high school rodeo region in South Dakota.

“Seven of the team members were in the Northwest Region, and that is a tough region,” says LaDuke, continuing, “I think the regional system makes for tougher competitors because it all comes down to the points from only four performances, and they have to be really on their game at those two rodeos or they don’t make it to state.” He added, “It’s not a trailer race in South Dakota, so that really focuses those kids.”

As for the Gillette College Rodeo team, LaDuke says, “A lot of these kids will be back next year and I look for us to have a strong program. I’ll be looking for some more recruits, too.”

The rodeo program isn’t the only reason to go to college at Gillette, but it would appear that it has a lot of bearing on the rodeo talent to be found there. Will LaDuke plays a big role in the success of the program as the rodeo coach, and says, “This job has sure been a good fit and I really enjoy working with these kids.”

By all accounts, these talented young athletes feel the same way about him.

College rodeo has completed the fall season and Gillette College’s rodeo team has put that town and school on the map. The fledgling rodeo program, started just three years ago, has become a force to contend with in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Leading the Central Rocky Mountain Region with both the men’s and women’s teams, the men’s team is also fourth in the nation, with the women’s team at number six. Their goal is to send the top six men and women to nationals as a team, and they certainly have the talent to do it.

Will LaDuke, rodeo coach for Gillette College, came on board specifically to build the rodeo program at Gillette.

“I got hired on in December of ’05 to recruit a team for the fall season of ’06,” says LaDuke, a native of Dickinson, ND. The North Dakota State University graduate has an Agricultural Education degree and was a Vo-Ag teacher at Belle Fourche, SD, before moving to Gillette. LaDuke grew up in a rodeo family and has roped calves and steers in amateur and circuit rodeos for about 12 years, so is knowledgeable in all aspects of the rodeo field.

The powerful rodeo team that has developed at Gillette draws on talent from a huge area. LaDuke says, “I think our school is really good. The tuition rate and the costs for college are pretty competitive. We have a lot of scholarship money, so the rodeo athletes are able to come here on a scholarship and get a good education along with it.”

He believes the small classroom sizes help the students get a lot of attention, and says, “The new student housing is really good and that makes it easier for the kids coming here too.” The size of the school, with 900-1,000 students, gives it a small town feeling, making it comfortable for the students as well.

“Along with the scholarships, the school helps with the expenses for the program,” says LaDuke. He also applauds the town of Gillette, “Gillette has really gotten behind this rodeo program, and that has helped us to be really competitive.”

He also points out that they have one of the most extensive practice schedules for rough stock of any school in the nation, saying, “The rough stock end of things is good because of the Burch family. They donate the use of the rough stock for the kids and bring really good stock to the practices. The practices are run really well with good pickup men and bull fighters. We have 25-30 practices a year, which is a lot for rough stock.”

The Gillette team works all of the events with their talented roster. The men’s team (with place in standings) consists of: Will Bagley, Baker, MT, Saddle Broncs (13th); Tucker Brengle, Buffalo, SD, Barebacks (8th); Casey Cash, Gillette,WY, Bull Riding; Cole Dorenkamp, Lamar, CO, Steer Wrestling (splitting 7th), Team Roping (9th, header), and Tie Down Roping (5th); Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, Bull Riding (7th) and Saddle Broncs (1st) and Team Roping; Chason Floyd, Ludlow, SD, Saddle Broncs (11th), Steer Wrestling (4th), Team Roping and Tie Down Roping; Jake Gill, Sheridan,WY, Team Roping and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th);

John Herman, Gillette, WY, Bull Riding; Tyson Holden, Gillette, WY, Team Roping (3rd, header) and Tie Down Roping; Cotter Kinghorn, Buffalo, WY, Team Roping (split 15th, heeler) and Tie Down Roping; Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, Team Roping (3rd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th); K.C. Longbrake, Interior, SD, Saddle Broncs; Chancy Miller, Faith, SD, Saddle Broncs (4th); CJ Pesicka, Timber Lake, SD, Bull Riding (14th); Nathan Schaper, Grassy Butte, ND, Bull Riding (2nd); Dustin Smith, Burns, WY, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (2nd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (10th).

Women’s Team (with place in standings): Sammi Berry, Interior, SD, Barrels; Hannah Brown, Faith, SD, Breakaway and Goat Tying; Jessica Giersiepen, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Barrels (7th); Anna Haaland, Pryor, MT, Barrels, Breakaway (9th), and Team Roping; Misty McPherson, Piedmont, SD, Barrels, Breakaway, Team Roping; Chelsea Moore, I Pounce Coupe, British Columbia, Barrels (split 4th), Breakaway (three way tie 10th), Goat Tying (5th) and Team Roping, and All Around (2nd); Ashley Reynolds, Gillette, WY, Breakaway and Goat Tying; K.T. Schaffer, Broadus, MT, Barrels, Breakaway, and Goat Tying; Jordan Thurston, Lance Creek, WY, Barrels, Breakaway (8th), and Goat Tying (2nd); Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, Barrels (split 4th).

“Our goal is to make the CNFR with both teams and we’d like to win the region,” says LaDuke, “and we’re in a really tight race with Riverton’s tough team.” The spring season starts up again on March 26, 2010 at Torrington, WY, and there are five rodeos before the College finals in Casper, WY.

The Gillette rodeo team will continue with practice all winter, plus many of them are involved in other rodeos as well.

“Several have their PRCA permits or are ready to buy them, and there are some Dodge Circuit finals qualifiers,” says LaDuke. “I believe I have some students that will be able to make a living competing in rodeo once college is over, and since rodeo doesn’t last forever, I’m thankful they’ll have a degree once they’re done.”

An interesting feature of the Gillette rodeo team, according to LaDuke, is how many of them came from the same high school rodeo region in South Dakota.

“Seven of the team members were in the Northwest Region, and that is a tough region,” says LaDuke, continuing, “I think the regional system makes for tougher competitors because it all comes down to the points from only four performances, and they have to be really on their game at those two rodeos or they don’t make it to state.” He added, “It’s not a trailer race in South Dakota, so that really focuses those kids.”

As for the Gillette College Rodeo team, LaDuke says, “A lot of these kids will be back next year and I look for us to have a strong program. I’ll be looking for some more recruits, too.”

The rodeo program isn’t the only reason to go to college at Gillette, but it would appear that it has a lot of bearing on the rodeo talent to be found there. Will LaDuke plays a big role in the success of the program as the rodeo coach, and says, “This job has sure been a good fit and I really enjoy working with these kids.”

By all accounts, these talented young athletes feel the same way about him.

College rodeo has completed the fall season and Gillette College’s rodeo team has put that town and school on the map. The fledgling rodeo program, started just three years ago, has become a force to contend with in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Leading the Central Rocky Mountain Region with both the men’s and women’s teams, the men’s team is also fourth in the nation, with the women’s team at number six. Their goal is to send the top six men and women to nationals as a team, and they certainly have the talent to do it.

Will LaDuke, rodeo coach for Gillette College, came on board specifically to build the rodeo program at Gillette.

“I got hired on in December of ’05 to recruit a team for the fall season of ’06,” says LaDuke, a native of Dickinson, ND. The North Dakota State University graduate has an Agricultural Education degree and was a Vo-Ag teacher at Belle Fourche, SD, before moving to Gillette. LaDuke grew up in a rodeo family and has roped calves and steers in amateur and circuit rodeos for about 12 years, so is knowledgeable in all aspects of the rodeo field.

The powerful rodeo team that has developed at Gillette draws on talent from a huge area. LaDuke says, “I think our school is really good. The tuition rate and the costs for college are pretty competitive. We have a lot of scholarship money, so the rodeo athletes are able to come here on a scholarship and get a good education along with it.”

He believes the small classroom sizes help the students get a lot of attention, and says, “The new student housing is really good and that makes it easier for the kids coming here too.” The size of the school, with 900-1,000 students, gives it a small town feeling, making it comfortable for the students as well.

“Along with the scholarships, the school helps with the expenses for the program,” says LaDuke. He also applauds the town of Gillette, “Gillette has really gotten behind this rodeo program, and that has helped us to be really competitive.”

He also points out that they have one of the most extensive practice schedules for rough stock of any school in the nation, saying, “The rough stock end of things is good because of the Burch family. They donate the use of the rough stock for the kids and bring really good stock to the practices. The practices are run really well with good pickup men and bull fighters. We have 25-30 practices a year, which is a lot for rough stock.”

The Gillette team works all of the events with their talented roster. The men’s team (with place in standings) consists of: Will Bagley, Baker, MT, Saddle Broncs (13th); Tucker Brengle, Buffalo, SD, Barebacks (8th); Casey Cash, Gillette,WY, Bull Riding; Cole Dorenkamp, Lamar, CO, Steer Wrestling (splitting 7th), Team Roping (9th, header), and Tie Down Roping (5th); Cole Elshere, Faith, SD, Bull Riding (7th) and Saddle Broncs (1st) and Team Roping; Chason Floyd, Ludlow, SD, Saddle Broncs (11th), Steer Wrestling (4th), Team Roping and Tie Down Roping; Jake Gill, Sheridan,WY, Team Roping and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th);

John Herman, Gillette, WY, Bull Riding; Tyson Holden, Gillette, WY, Team Roping (3rd, header) and Tie Down Roping; Cotter Kinghorn, Buffalo, WY, Team Roping (split 15th, heeler) and Tie Down Roping; Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, Team Roping (3rd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (three way tie for 7th); K.C. Longbrake, Interior, SD, Saddle Broncs; Chancy Miller, Faith, SD, Saddle Broncs (4th); CJ Pesicka, Timber Lake, SD, Bull Riding (14th); Nathan Schaper, Grassy Butte, ND, Bull Riding (2nd); Dustin Smith, Burns, WY, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (2nd, heeler) and Tie Down Roping (10th).

Women’s Team (with place in standings): Sammi Berry, Interior, SD, Barrels; Hannah Brown, Faith, SD, Breakaway and Goat Tying; Jessica Giersiepen, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Barrels (7th); Anna Haaland, Pryor, MT, Barrels, Breakaway (9th), and Team Roping; Misty McPherson, Piedmont, SD, Barrels, Breakaway, Team Roping; Chelsea Moore, I Pounce Coupe, British Columbia, Barrels (split 4th), Breakaway (three way tie 10th), Goat Tying (5th) and Team Roping, and All Around (2nd); Ashley Reynolds, Gillette, WY, Breakaway and Goat Tying; K.T. Schaffer, Broadus, MT, Barrels, Breakaway, and Goat Tying; Jordan Thurston, Lance Creek, WY, Barrels, Breakaway (8th), and Goat Tying (2nd); Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, Barrels (split 4th).

“Our goal is to make the CNFR with both teams and we’d like to win the region,” says LaDuke, “and we’re in a really tight race with Riverton’s tough team.” The spring season starts up again on March 26, 2010 at Torrington, WY, and there are five rodeos before the College finals in Casper, WY.

The Gillette rodeo team will continue with practice all winter, plus many of them are involved in other rodeos as well.

“Several have their PRCA permits or are ready to buy them, and there are some Dodge Circuit finals qualifiers,” says LaDuke. “I believe I have some students that will be able to make a living competing in rodeo once college is over, and since rodeo doesn’t last forever, I’m thankful they’ll have a degree once they’re done.”

An interesting feature of the Gillette rodeo team, according to LaDuke, is how many of them came from the same high school rodeo region in South Dakota.

“Seven of the team members were in the Northwest Region, and that is a tough region,” says LaDuke, continuing, “I think the regional system makes for tougher competitors because it all comes down to the points from only four performances, and they have to be really on their game at those two rodeos or they don’t make it to state.” He added, “It’s not a trailer race in South Dakota, so that really focuses those kids.”

As for the Gillette College Rodeo team, LaDuke says, “A lot of these kids will be back next year and I look for us to have a strong program. I’ll be looking for some more recruits, too.”

The rodeo program isn’t the only reason to go to college at Gillette, but it would appear that it has a lot of bearing on the rodeo talent to be found there. Will LaDuke plays a big role in the success of the program as the rodeo coach, and says, “This job has sure been a good fit and I really enjoy working with these kids.”

By all accounts, these talented young athletes feel the same way about him.