Fall means rodeo season at Pearl River Community College
Cars aren’t the only things on the Coast that are showing off their horsepower this October.
Out of the approximately 135 college rodeo teams across the entire nation, you can find one right here in South Mississippi. Pearl River Community College first introduced its rodeo team in 2016, becoming the fifth college in Mississippi to have a rodeo program. PRCC Rodeo Head Coach Frank Graves said, “It’s kinda new to all of us. They’re starting it here and really getting behind it at the school. So it’s– we’re kinda all learning together. And they really got behind it this year and built a barn over at the school. A place for them to keep their horses. So, I think this year we had 27, I think, that we got. So, it started real big.”
Graves says this year’s team means a lot to him because he handpicked each of his cowboys and cowgirls. “Man, we have a good group of kids this year. They’re all young. All freshman. And I went and picked most of them. I hand-picked most of these kids to come here for this first year to make it great. And I think we’re going to do great this year. “
The PRCC Rodeo Team already has two competitions under its belt this season with both the men’s and women’s teams placing in the top ten in both those rodeos. Before October 15th and their next rodeo, Coach Graves has a few things he wants his team to work on. “Things that we work on, like our break away ropers, we really had to work on their scoring. Coming from a high school level up to a college level, it’s a little bit of a difference. The competition’s tough, so they had to get– we’re trying to make them faster.”
When asked what their favorite part of rodeo is, most the team had the same answer. Freshman Mary Grayson Martin said, “It’s a family. It’s a home away from home. It’s something different. It’s something you look forward to whenever you’re away from the house. And you’ve got people here to back you up no matter what. And it’s just something great to be a part of.”