Student Ethan Wheeler will be representing Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) in the college rodeo circuit this year. He will be competing in upcoming events in the Ozark Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) in team roping.
“Ethan already is a nationally ranked and recognized rodeo participant,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. "College rodeo is a very popular sport in some parts of the country and Ethan volunteered to participate for us. We are proud of him and proud to be represented as a college. We'll be looking for him and Northeast in the televised college rodeos."
The NIRA is known for preserving Western heritage through collegiate rodeo. There are approximately 100 college rodeos a year, over 3,500 student members annually, and 137 member schools and universities.
Wheeler’s first NIRA competition is September 22-23-24 at Valley College in Missouri. Other competitions will be held in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. There are 10 competitions total. If he is successful and gets into the top four in the Ozark Region of competitions, he will go to nationals in Casper, Wyoming.
In the competitions, Wheeler will wear a vest with his NACC affiliation on the back. His Coach/Club Sponsor is Chad Gorham on the NACC campus.
“Ethan is an outstanding young man that has been raised the right way by his mother and father,” said Gorham. “I am certain that Ethan will represent himself, his family, and Northeast very well. I am more than excited to see what Ethan can accomplish this season.”
Wheeler is a freshman at NACC majoring in Business. Upon graduation he plans to attend the University of Tennessee—Martin. He plans to make rodeoing his profession. “As long as it is profitable for me and I can pay my own way, it is what I want to do,” he said.
Wheeler has been interested in rodeoing since he was very young. He began at age 3 and won his first buckle at age 5. “My dad was my influence,” said Wheeler. “For as long as I can remember, my dad did roping. I just picked it up from him.” His family supports him and usually travels with him to events.
“I am excited about the upcoming competitions,” added Wheeler. “I think my partner and I have a really good chance to win it all.”
For more information about the NIRA, go to www.collegerodeo.com.