Dedicated team roper leads in Central Plains Region


s, rodeo, ethan fox

By: Molly Raley

Staff Writer

Winning at the national level is something the SE rodeo team has become accustomed to, with nine national championships as a team. This year the men have one person leading the way to receive his first national honor in team roping. “I’ll never stop roping,” said senior occupational safety and health major Ethan Fox. “I will figure out some way to keep doing it.” After tearing up both knees playing baseball his freshman year at Bonham High School, Fox was determined to rope at the Texoma Junior Rodeo Associations Region Finals. With friends warming up his horse, Fox was rolled to the arena in a wheel chair. Fox was then lifted to his horse by two men and roped two rounds with knee braces from each hip to each ankle. “I wasn’t even supposed to be on a horse,” said Fox. “They took me out of a wheelchair and onto my horse.” Fox ended that night in third after the first round but finished just short of placing in the second round. After having surgery on both knees, Fox then returned to roping and received a scholarship to Mt. Pleasant Junior College. Just missing the College National Finals at Mt. Pleasant, Fox transferred to Southeastern to finish his degree. Fox earned a spot on the Savage Storm rodeo team after transferring in 2011. “Ethan is very dedicated to improving his skills on a daily basis,” said Southeastern rodeo coach Christi Braudrick. Team roping is a two man job and requires a header and a heeler. Because Fox is a header, he needed a partner to heel. Fox called Chase Boekhaus, a heeler from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, to ask for information about potential partners. Because of his winning roping skills, Fox assumed Boekhaus already had a partner. “He said well I don’t have a partner,” said Fox about his conversation with Boekhaus. “I said well we can just count on it. And it has worked out good.” After their brief conversation, Fox and Boekhaus partnered up and have now become the Central Plains Region leading team ropers. Like any other sport, rodeo takes practice, but Fox and Boekhaus have run only 15 steers together since teaming up this year. “Once you get pass a certain level, your team roping run is a pattern,” said Fox. If the header does his job right, the heeler will have time to do his, said Fox. Practice is an effort between both the individual and his horse. Whether it is real steers or a dummy, Fox practices on a daily basis. “I believe what you put into something is what you get out of it,” said Braudrick. “He (Fox) has put the time into team roping to be successful.” Fox is currently leading the Central Plains Region as a header with 650 points. Boekhaus is also leading the heelers with 650 points. “Ethan has already qualified for the College National Finals with the amount of points he has earned,” said Braudrick. The College National Finals will be held in Jasper, Wyoming in June. “I am excited for Ethan and I am looking forward to him and his partner, Chase, roping at the college finals,” said Braudrick. “They have the ability to win it all if things go their way in June.”