Beau Clark to Lead UW Rodeo Program into New Season
Laramie, WY. – Beau Clark can honestly say he doesn’t know what to expect this season.
As the new University of Wyoming rodeo coach, Clark comes into the fall schedule as the new person in charge of both the men’s and women’s programs. He’s familiar with some of his team members, having seen them on the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) circuit the past two years when he was the head coach at Laramie County Community College.
But having seen them and actually coaching them are two different things. And not knowing what other CRMR teams are bringing to the arena this season also creates uncertainty.
“I really don’t know what to expect this year, but I’m blown away by this group of kids I have who are committed to this program,” says Clark, who is replacing longtime UW rodeo Coach George Howard, who died late last fall.
Clark says the team practices daily from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and club members come and go throughout the day.
“Kids have not backed off, not one single ounce. They show up every day with a great attitude. They want to practice, and they want to get better,” he says. “These are the things we expect of them, and these are the things to build on. We encourage them to get better and stay focused. Hopefully, good things will happen to them throughout the year.”
The Cowboys and Cowgirls open the fall season Sept. 14-16 at the Chadron (Neb.) State College rodeo. Five rodeos are scheduled for both the fall and spring semesters.
Last year, the Cowgirls were among the two best teams in the region, but a late slump left the UW women in third place. After a strong start, the Cowboys could never quite keep that momentum going and finished in the middle of the CRMR pack.
Building a program into his own image, Clark’s goals are to produce a consistent winner in the region so that both the men’s and women’s teams qualify full teams for the year-end College Nationals Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper.
To begin, he will rely on a mixture of returning veterans, transfer competitors and newcomers to start the building process of his own UW program. Clark is not quite yet ready to name his “points team,” the six-man and four-woman squads whose performances will count toward overall team points during the opening weekend of action.
However, Clark says his women’s team will be deep, especially in breakaway roping, with nearly 10 women who can all dominate in their respective events. Four of those women all have college finals experience: returning UW veterans Justene Hirsig, of Cheyenne; Kelsey Lensegrav, from Interior, S.D.; and Nicole Sederstrom, from Goodland, Kan.; and transfer student Teisha Coffield, the reigning CRMR breakaway roping champion. She competed last year for the University of Colorado-Pueblo and is from Yuma, Colo.
Other UW women who Clark says are contenders for the four-woman points team are Rachel Calvo, from Bassett, Neb.; Carlie Hibbs, from Prineville, Ore.; Kassi McPherson, of Rapid City, S.D.; and Brandy Schaack, of Hyannis, Neb.
Most of the women will compete in multiple events this season.
“We’re pretty deep with a lot of talented kids,” Clark says. “We have some girls who won’t be on the points team, but who will still win a lot this year in the region.”
The timed events competitors will be the strength of this year’s men’s team. Clark’s goal is to build the roughstock event riders with the help of his assistant, Tyler Corrington, a three-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier.
Team ropers will head the squad in the opening weekend. They include Caden Camp, of Belgrade, Mont., and returning UW veteran JC Flake, from Mesa, Ariz., a former national high school team roping champion. Denton Shaw, of Lusk, who qualified for last year’s CNFR with Hirsig, will partner with Cooper White, of Gillette College. Past CNFR qualifier Dusty Taylor, from Craig, Colo., will team up with new UW team member Jace Stadut, a transfer from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. He is from Nathrop, Colo.
Also getting a look for this week’s team are returning Cowboys calf/team roper and steer wrestler Seth Peterson, from Minot, N.D., and J.W. Meirs, of Casper, in saddle bronc riding. Cochise College transfer Ty Everson, from Helena, Mont., is a two-time CNFR qualifier in steer wrestling.
“There is a lot of experience and talent with kids who have made the college finals,” Clark says of his men’s team. “They just need to keep on improving throughout the year.”