LA JUNTA — Otero Junior College Rodeo hits a milestone this season with its 10th year under the leadership of Coach Linsay Rosser-Sumpter. The team is a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) and competes in the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the NIRA. The program will be back to competition for the fall rodeos starting Sept. 14 in Chadron, Neb. for Chadron State College’s annual rodeo. OJC Rodeo will participate in 10 regional rodeos within the Central Rocky Mountain region, having five fall rodeos and five spring rodeos. Head Coach Linsay Rosser-Sumpter explained the hope is to have student athletes qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in June.
“I am so excited about this group of students.” Sumpter said. “They are coming to Otero from all areas of the country and are dedicated to their studies and the sport of rodeo. I could not be more proud of this group of athletes. I know they are ready to compete and have a good shot at bringing home a regional title.”
This fall the team will travel to Chadron State University, Sept. 14-16, Sheridan College, Sept. 21-23, Central Wyoming College, Sept. 28-30, Lamar Community College, Oct. 5-7, and Laramie County Community College, Oct. 12-14.
Leading the women’s team is returning sophomore Kelsey Drinkall, Chetwynd Canada, competing in the breakaway roping, team roping, and goat tying; along with returning two-sport athlete Jalea Blasingame, Logandale, Nev., who not only competes in three rodeo events, she is also a member of the Rattler Volleyball team.
Leading the men’s team is Tyler Beebe, Bayfield Colo., who competes in the saddle bronc riding and team roping. Beebe has big shoes to fill hoping to bring home a regional title in the saddle bronc riding, following behind last year’s teammate two-time CRMR Saddle Bronc Riding Champion, Mason Mardesich.
The Rattler Rodeo Team is also eager to get back to their upgraded practice facility, located at the La Junta Kids’ Rodeo Grounds, north of La Junta. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of past OJC President Jim Rizzuto, the City of La Junta, and Otero County, the facility now has a new set of bucking chutes. The new bucking chutes were constructed last spring through the efforts of the college, the city, and county working together.
This fall to the OJC Rodeo Team will host their annual team roping jackpot on Oct. 4. The team will tentatively be hosting a weekly barrel racing competition at their practice facility located at the La Junta Kids’ Rodeo Grounds, in the La Junta Industrial Park, every Tuesday evening starting after Labor day. Exhibitions will start at 6 p.m. and the competition will begin at 7:30 p.m. Coach Sumpter encourages all community member to come out and watch both the team roping jackpot and the weekly barrel races.
For more information on the Otero Rodeo Team contact Sumpter at 719-384-6876 or by email at Linsay.Sumpter@ojc.edu.
About Otero Junior College
Founded in 1941, Otero Junior College is located on an attractive 40-acre campus on the southern edge of La Junta, Colorado. The mission of Otero Junior College is to provide a quality higher education that is accessible, transforms lives, expands employment opportunities, enriches communities, promotes individual and global cultural diversity, and fosters economic development.
Otero Junior College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the Colorado Community College System. OJC offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees for students who plan to transfer on to four-year bachelor degree programs. The College also offers numerous workforce ready degrees and certificates that prepare students to enter the workforce within one or two years.
Otero is a full-service campus offering on-campus student housing and dining services. Students have the opportunity to receive both an outstanding academic education and experience the amenities of a large university with 12 intercollegiate athletic sports and numerous student-life clubs, organizations and events.