Paying for college just got a little bit easier for three members of the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team.
Danielle Wray and Chance Williams, both of Ord, and Jaycee Wooters, of Elwood, received scholarships Saturday night during the team’s seventh annual banquet at the Holiday Inn Express in North Platte.
Wray took home a $1,000 Dual Excellence Scholarship from the Wranglers booster committee for her efforts both in the classroom and in the arena.
“It has been awesome having Danielle here,” said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. “Last year, as a freshman, she jumped out and became our first woman regional champion when she placed first in the team roping header category. That’s somewhat of a man’s event, so that made her accomplishment even bigger. Danielle’s competition level and horsemanship level are second to none.”
Wray is leading the region in heading again this year with 418 points. She’s also sitting fourth in the breakaway and fifth in the women’s all-around standings. That’s in addition to landing a spot on the dean’s list for the fall semester.
“Danielle’s a lot of fun to have around,” Nokes said. “I love seeing how much success she’s had in the arena, but she also takes care of her classwork, and that counts for a lot.”
The Bob Hoyt Memorial Scholarship that Williams and Wooters received, was new this year. It was provided by Hoyt’s family.
“Bob Hoyt was my next-door neighbor who passed away last summer,” Nokes said. “When the team first started practicing in McCook, we practiced at my house with only three kids. We needed someone to run the chute for them, and Bob would walk over and do it. It was the most fun I’d ever seen the guy have in his life. When practices moved to town, he moved with them.”
Nokes said Hoyt was always the first one to the arena on practice days – setting up all the livestock and equipment so that it was ready by the time the team arrived.
“Bob would be there half an hour before I was,” Nokes said. “I’ve never seen him on a horse in his life, that just wasn’t him, but he loved the kids, and he really meant something to them. Sixteen of the rodeo team members and alumni traveled back for his funeral, and one of them, Riley Weehler, was a pallbearer.”
Hoyt’s family donated two $250 scholarships – one designated for a man on the rodeo team, and the other for a woman. The entire team voted on who should get them. Williams and Wooters were selected for going above and beyond to help their teammates at practices – in a way commemorative of Hoyt.
All of the scholarships awarded at the banquet can be used for tuition, books or any other college-related expenses the students might have.