K-State rodeo team offers unique appeal for its members

A competitor in the 63rd Annual K-State Rodeo gathers rope in Weber Arena. The rodeo took place in February 2019. (Cooper Kinley | Collegian Media Group)

The world of sports at Kansas State extends well beyond football and basketball. Club sports extends the playing field to a wide variety of interests — including rodeo.

Demetre Miller, junior in agribusiness, found his passion for rodeo during his early childhood.

“My cousin would go to a lot of rodeos growing up,” Miller said. “He was my role model, and that’s who I strive to be.”

The KSU Rodeo Club competes at a national level against nearby junior colleges like Coffeyville and Dodge City community colleges and Division 1 institutions like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. In the rodeo team’s competition last weekend, three members placed in the top 10 in their events.

K-State’s last competition this past weekend Kassidi Hofman, Kyle Eike, and Corey Larsen finished top ten in their respective events. Kassidi Hofman, junior in animal science, was one of them. He said the rodeo team works to create an inclusive team environment.

“We are very united and friendly … We even do group activities throughout the year to make sure everyone is feeling included,” Hofman said.

Hofman said it is important to the rodeo team that the focus isn’t only on being competitive and winning. It’s also about “allowing members to be a part of it even if they aren’t competing,” Hofman said.

Even those who aren’t on the team are beginning to take notice.

“I met Demetre a while ago, and I remember him telling me he was a part of the rodeo club for the first time and being confused,” Carter Rands, sophomore in business, said. “But after doing some research, I’m really intrigued and would recommend doing some research as well.”

As for the future of rodeo team, Hofman said, “I would like to spread more knowledge about rodeo, to be able to help people better understand what rodeo is and what it entails.”