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2008-09 Rodeo TeamThe annual Ranger Rodeo presented by Northwestern Oklahoma State University will have its opening performance at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Woods County Fairgrounds Arena. More than 500 student competitors from 20-plus colleges and universities are expected to participate. The rodeo is a sanctioned event of the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.


Performances start at 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets are being sold by all rodeo team members and by coach Tim Kolb, who can be reached at (580) 327-8688. They also will be sold at the gate.


“Everyone should be really excited about the rodeo because it is a great event for the community,” Kolb said. “Many competitors, along with their families and friends, are in town for at least two days, which really helps boost the community’s economy.”


Barring inclement weather, “Rodeo Days” will be held on the square for Alva’s elementary school children on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m. Rodeo team members will be on hand to explain the different events and demonstrate some of them.


Ten to 12 contestants in each of the nine collegiate rodeo events will be on center stage during the Thursday and Friday night performances. The top 10 in each event will return for the championship go-round on Saturday night.


The events are bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, breakaway calf roping, steer wrestling, goat tying, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Two sections of the popular bull riding event will be run on Thursday and Friday nights.


The rest of the contestants will appear in the “slack” performances starting at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Participation in the performance or slack rounds is decided by random draw.


Special events will occur at each evening performance. On Thursday night, Northwestern student teams will attempt to milk wild cows, and students will be admitted for $4 with a current I.D. card.


Friday will be children’s night and will feature a children’s calf scramble. Several animals will be marked to denote prize winners.


On Saturday night, when event and team winners are determined, there will be a relay race up and down the arena by cowboys and cowgirls representing different schools. However, they will all be on foot—not horseback.


Tim Fuller of Tulsa, will be making a return appearance as public address announcer. He has been announcing rodeos for the past 17 years and has appeared at the Dodge National Circuit Finals, Dodge Prairie Circuit Finals and National High School Finals, among other top rodeos. He also has served as master of ceremonies for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant and a variety of agricultural farm shows in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.


The bullfighters are home grown—or at least former members of the Northwestern rodeo team. Wade Kunze, a 2008 Moorhead, Iowa, alum, and Wacey Munsell will be performing cowboy protection duties.


Munsell was the 2005 and 2006 PBR Dickie’s World Champion Freestyle Bullfighter.


“Our team members have been busy getting ready for our rodeo and practicing hard so they can make a good showing at home,” Kolb said. “I’m really proud of our student-athletes and their diligence because putting on a rodeo this size takes a lot of work.  The team works hard, and I know it is going to pay off.”


Stock contractors Williams and Long Rodeo Company are providing bulls and bucking horses for events.