My beautiful wife is a proud alumna of Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
When she was in school in the mid-1990s, she was the rodeo team’s secretary for then-coach Dr. R. Lynn Gardner, whom everyone called Doc. Though she didn’t compete, she is very proud to be part of a fantastic rodeo tradition at the school in the community of Goodwell, population 1,234.
The school boasts of rodeo champions, whether while students or after graduation. In fact, saddle bronc riders Taos Muncy, Jeff Willert, Tom Reeves and Robert Etbauer were part of the Panhandle State rodeo team.
Over the years, there have been too many qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to mention them all, from Deke and Craig Latham to Dan Etbauer to Scott Montague to Jhett Johnson to Jesse Bail, just to name a few.
This year’s NFR will feature six Panhandlers: Muncy, Willert and Cort Scheer in bronc riding; Tana Poppino in barrel racing; and Ardie Maier and Seth Glause in bull riding.
The Panhandle State nation is proud. Just ask my wife.