North Platte, Neb. (June 12, 2019) – The monkey is off Shane Frey’s back.
For the first time, the Duncan, Oklahoma cowboy has won a check at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.
Frey made a 3.4 second run during slack on the morning of June 12 to win the first round among 84 steer wrestlers.
The 27 year old has competed in North Platte’s pro rodeo six times, never having won money. “Honestly, I’ve always loved this rodeo,” he said, “but this is the first time I’ve been able to crack the pay window.”
He was aboard an eighteen-year-old gelding owned by Charlene Neale. Neale, the wife of Riley Duvall’s wife, has lent the horse to Duvall, also a steer wrestler, Frey, and their traveling companions.
Old Gray is an excellent steer wrestling mount, Frey said. “He really fits me well. He’s good, solid, and makes my job easy.” Neale has kept the horse close to home, for local rodeos and for her nephews to ride. This year, the horse will be on the pro rodeo trail across the nation. Frey, Duvall, Tyrel Cline, and Sam Goings will all ride Old Gray as they compete at PRCA rodeos. “He’s had a lot of guys win on him around the house, but this is the most he’s ever gone, to the biggest rodeos.”
Frey enjoys competing at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo. “The money’s great, and it’s a cool rodeo. For us, it kicks off the summer run and it’s always exciting.” North Platte is considered the unofficial start to the Fourth of July rodeo season, the busiest time of the year for rodeo competition. “When we leave the house for the summer, it’s a good place to get everything rolling.” The newness of the season hasn’t worn off yet, Frey said. “We’re still fresh and ready to go, still full of hopes and dreams,” he joked. “After the Fourth (of July), you’re either really happy (due to success) or really grumpy (due to not doing well), and you’re tired, regardless of how you’re doing.”
A home state cowboy leads the bareback riding after the first night.
Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb., scored 80.5 points on the Beutler and Son Rodeo horse Sure Motion.
It was the third time for the two to tango.
He got bucked off the mare in Odessa, Texas two years ago, and last year, at the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in Duncan, Okla., he made a qualified ride but got bucked off right after the eight second whistle.
“I’ve been on that horse three times now, and I’ve actually hit the dirt every time.” During tonight’s ride, he was bucked off, but it was after he had made a qualified ride.
The mare “takes a big run, away from the chute, and she’s kind of spooky for a guy, waiting on her to start bucking,” Shadbolt said. “When she breaks out and starts bucking, she comes around in a tight circle, and the circle puts a lot of centrifugal force on a rider, and it’s hard to spur straight back to your rigging when they’re coming around a corner.”
Shadbolt, a 2017 graduate of Doane College in Crete, Neb., with a chemistry degree, is in his rookie year of PRCA competition and in the running for Resistol Rookie of the Year. He’s in a logjam at the top with two other bronc riders, Tristan Hansen and Jesse Pope, with less than $300 separating the three men. He’d like to win the Rookie of the Year title. “Winning the rookie title is a big stepping stone for a lot of guys in the PRCA,” Shadbolt said. “I wanted to make a big splash when I jumped out and started going full time.”
Shadbolt is ranked twenty-sixth in the world standings.
After the morning’s slack and the evening competition, other leaders are tie-down ropers J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas and Justin Smith, Leesville, La.(8.4 seconds each); saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa (85 points); team ropers Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo. and Carson Johnson, Casper, Wyo. (5.0 seconds); barrel racer Chris Gibson, Windsor, Colo. (17.89 seconds); and bull rider Kyle Gardner, Kersey, Colo. (79).
The 2020 Miss Rodeo Nebraska was crowned, with the title going to Joeli Walrath of Ashton. The 2016 Loup City High School graduate is studying equine science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a member of the UNL equestrian team, is involved with the UNL rodeo team and club, and serves as the promtions officer for the University of Nebraska Rodeo Association executive board.
She will serve as lady in waiting until January 2020, when she will begin her reign, and will represent the state at the 2020 Miss Rodeo America pageant in Las Vegas.
The second of four nights of rodeo takes place Thursday, June 13 at 8 pm. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to show awareness of breast cancer, and proceeds will be donated to the Callahan Cancer Center in North Platte. Tickets are available at www.NebraskalandDays.com and at the gate.
- ### -
Results, 1st Performance and slack, June 12, 2019
North Platte, Nebraska – Buffalo Bill Rodeo
1. Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb. 80.5 points on Sure Motion; 2. (tie) Justin Pollmiller, Weatherford, Okla. and Will Martin, Durant, Okla. 76 each; no other qualified rides.
1. Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla. 3.4 seconds; 2. Bridger Anderson, Alva, Okla. 3.6; 3. (tie) Tyler Pearson, Atoka, Okla. and Sam Goings, Fallon, Nev. 3.7 each; 5. J.D.Struxness, Milan, Minn. 3.8; 6. Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb. 3.9.
1. (tie) J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas and Justin Smith, Leesville, La 8.4 seconds each; 3. Cody Huber, Albia, Iowa 8.5; 4. Cody McCartney, Durant, Okla. 9.1.
Saddle bronc riding
1. Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa 85 points on Chisum Trail; 2. Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. 83.5; 3. Brady Hill, Onida, S.D. 77.5; 4. Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, S.D. 71.
1. Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo./Carson Johnson, Casper, Wyo. 5.0 seconds; 2. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Jesse Dale, Timberlake, S.D. 6.5; 3. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb.,/Dustin Dan Harris O’Neill, Neb. 7.8; 4. JB Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Jake Beard, Menoken, N.D. 12.2.
1. Chris Gibson, Windsor, Colo. 17.89 seconds; 2. Kenna Kaminski, Bellville, Texas 18.15; 3. Aimee Kay, Bluff Dale, Texas 18.17; 4. Hallie Fulton, Wessington Springs, S.D. 18.48.
1. Kyle Gardner, Kersey, Colo. 79 points on Evac Man; 2. Luke Gee, Stanford, Mont. 77; no other qualified rides.
** All results are unofficial.
Lincoln – Husker basketball fans can officially start counting down to the start of the Fred Hoiberg era, as the Nebraska men’s basketball program released its 2019-20 non-conference schedule on Wednesday.
The 11-game non-conference slate includes three games at the Cayman Islands Classic, a meeting with Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the annual in-state matchup with Creighton and a renewal of games against regional foes South Dakota State and North Dakota.
Nebraska will open the season with four straight home games before hitting the road for the Cayman Islands Classic in late November. The Huskers will officially open the Fred Hoiberg era on Tuesday, Nov. 5, when the Huskers host UC Riverside in the first meeting between the two programs. It is the earliest season-opener in school history. NU will host Doane in an exhibition game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
The Huskers continue the homestand against a pair of teams that made the postseason last year in Southern Utah (Nov. 9) and South Dakota State (Nov. 15). Southern Utah reached the second round of the CIT last season and returns three of its top four scorers. It is the first meeting between the Huskers and the Thunderbirds since 2009. South Dakota State went 24-9 last year and won the regular-season Summit League title before falling to eventual champion Texas in the NIT. The Jackrabbits made three straight NCAA appearances before the 2019 NIT trip. It is the first meeting between NU and SDSU since 2011.
The contest with Southern (Nov. 22) is part of the Cayman Islands Classic, as each of the eight teams will play one home game prior to the tournament. The field for the Cayman Islands Classic (Nov. 25-27) includes Colorado State, George Mason, Loyola (Chicago), New Mexico State, Old Dominion, South Florida and Washington State. The pairings for the bracket will be announced later this summer.
The Huskers open the month of December with road games at Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Dec. 4) and at Creighton (Dec. 7). The Bluejays went 20-15 and reached the NIT before losing to TCU last season.
Nebraska will play two conference games ahead of final exams before returning to the court for its final two non-conference games against North Dakota (Dec. 21) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 29). The matchup with UND will be the Huskers’ first against the school since 2017 and the third meeting since the Fighting Hawks joined Division I. The Huskers will close out non-conference action against a TAMU-CC team that finished sixth in the Southland Conference last season. It will be the first meeting between the Huskers and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The 17-game home schedule at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season is highlighted by 10 Big Ten matchups, including tilts with NCAA qualifiers Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin, along with games against Indiana, Northwestern, Penn State and Rutgers.
For more season ticket information or to sign up for the 2019-20 wait list, visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call the NU Ticket Office at (800) 8-BIGRED during business hours. Season tickets for the 2019-20 season begin at $136.
2019-20 Nebraska Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 30
Tuesday, Nov. 5
Saturday, Nov. 9
Friday, Nov. 15
Friday, Nov. 22
Mon.-Wed., Nov. 25-27 at Cayman Islands Classic
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Saturday, Dec. 7
Saturday, Dec. 21
Sunday, Dec. 29
Two Huskers Among Top-10 JUCO Signees
Lincoln – A pair of Husker men’s basketball signees were recognized this week, as JUCORecruiting.com released its final top-100 ranking for the class of 2019.
Cam Mack (Austin, Texas) was rated as the No. 3 JUCO player in this year’s class, while Jervay Green (Denver, Colo.) was the eighth-rated prospect by the site. Nebraska was the only program in the country with two players among the top 10 in this year’s class. The two players are also the program’s first top-10 recruits according to the JUCO site dating back to 2011.
Mack, the top-rated point guard in the class, spent last season at Salt Lake CC, averaging 19.1 points, 7.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game this past season. Mack, a first-team All-Region 18 honoree, ranked in the top 25 nationally in assists (fifth) and steals (24th). The 6-foot-2 guard dished out 10-or-more assists on nine occasions and had three triple-doubles in his lone season at the school. Mack shot 46 percent from the field and boasted a 2.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Green, who was listed as the No. 2 combo guard in the country, was one of the nation’s most prolific scoring guards at Western Nebraska CC. He earned second-team NJCAA All-America honors, averaging 23.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists last season. The Region IX Co-Player of the Year, Green ranked eighth nationally in scoring while shooting 55 percent from the field, including 39 percent from 3-point range. Green’s sophomore season was highlighted by a 51-point performance against Iowa Lakes CC, one of his three 40-point games on the year.
Green and Mack highlight Nebraska’s recruiting class that begins to arrive on campus beginning next week.
Thorbjarnarson Represents Iceland
Rising junior Thorir Thorbjarnarson represented his native Iceland earlier this week, competing in the Games of the Small States of Europe. The Olympic-style competition is held for European countries with populations of under one million people.
Thorbjarnarson played in three games for Iceland’s Senior National Team during the competition, averaging 9.3 points per game, including 14 points in a loss to the hosts from Montenegro. He closed out the event with 12 points in a win over Cyprus in the fifth-place game. It is the second time that Thorbjarnarson has played in the tournament, as he made his national team debut in the event in 2017.
Last season, Thorbjarnarson played in 25 games, including seven starts, to help the Huskers to a 19-17 record. He averaged 2.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, as Nebraska reached its second straight NIT. He moved in the starting lineup during the Huskers’ Big Ten Tournament and NIT games, and had eight points, three rebounds and three assists in the Huskers’ second-round NIT loss to TCU.
Husker Basketball Camps Begin Next Week
The first session of the Fred Hoiberg Basketball Camps begins next Monday, June 10, at the Hendricks Training Complex.
The 2019 camp series will feature two four-day camps, as well a pair of specialty clinics for boys and girls entering the 3rd-12th grade. In addition, there will also be a three-day Little Husker camp for kids who are in grades K-4 for the upcoming year. Hoiberg and his staff of instructors will work with campers on the fundamentals of basketball in a fun atmosphere. All camps are open to both boys and girls entering the respective grade level.
For more information, camp information, pricing and to register for the 2019 camps, email fredhoibergbasketballcamps@