While Tarleton State students are enjoying their summer holiday laying out by a pool or not having to worry about homework, Chase Williams is preparing for his third trip to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. Williams, a 22-year-old computer information systems graduate from Tarleton, qualified in the tie down roping and team roping in this year’s final.
“The first time I went my freshman year I placed second in team roping with my brother Chad, and the second time I didn’t rope very well, so I’m really looking forward to this year,” said Williams.
Rodeo is something that runs deep in the Capitan, New Mexico native’s family.
“I went to my first rodeo when I was 10 years old and my front yard was literally a practice arena,” Williams said. “Everyone in my family ropes.”
Williams decided to bring his rodeo talents to Tarleton because it's in the center of everything rodeo. Back in New Mexico it was almost a three-hour drive to the closest rodeo.
“Here in Stephenville you can drive within an hour and find one to compete in,” he said. “And Tarleton is known for their rodeo team. It’s top notch.”
Williams is looking forward to the trip to Casper.
“It’s a lot like the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas,” he said. “A lot of people from all over the country go. It’s just a lot of fun.”
The 65th annual CNFR will host more than 400 contestants from over 100 different universities and colleges. Williams, however, will not only be competing in the CNFR, but will also compete in multiple rodeos on his drive up to Casper.
While rodeo takes up a lot of Williams’ time, it’s not all he likes to do.
“I rope in almost all the spare time I have, but if I’m not roping then I like to play basketball on the side,” he said. “But roping is definitely my favorite thing to do, no matter where I am.”
With Williams' collegiate career close to an end, he said he couldn’t be where he is without some help.
“I want to thank my coaches Tibba Smith, Mark Eakin and Cody Bamber for everything,” he said. “I also want to thank Tarleton for letting me rodeo for the university.”
His career won’t come to an end soon though. After the CNFR he plans to compete on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit.