Despite Hurricanes Laura and Delta and shutdowns due to COVID-19, the McNeese State University men’s and women’s rodeo teams continue to dominate the southern region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Currently, the women’s team is ranked first in the region, while the men’s team stands in third place.
On the men’s team, Gavin Soileau, Bunkie, is leading in steer wrestling while Remey Parrott, Mamou, is currently ranked third in the same event. Waylon Bourgeois, Church Point, stands at No. 4 in bareback riding.
For the women’s team, Kamryn Duncan, Denham Springs, leads in goat tying while Ashleigh Young, Mansfield, Texas, is ranked third, Kaylee Cormier, Iowa, is ninth and Kati Murphy, Bell City, is 10th.
“For our team members to go out and compete after one of the largest disasters we have ever seen and win is just amazing. It shows such resilience and dedication to their team, their sport and McNeese,” says Coach Justin Browning. “This also indicates that the winning culture that we have here goes way deeper than just trophies. It’s our way of doing things.”
It has also been a good season for McNeese rodeo alumnus Gabe Soileau. Gabe, the brother of Gavin, has been named the Resistol Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association after posting a 4.4-second run at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo in Abilene, Texas. Gabe graduated from McNeese with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences in May of 2020.
The McNeese rodeo team will next compete Nov. 13 and 14 at Sam Houston State University. The McNeese home rodeo has been rescheduled to take place in February of 2021.