Ready, raring to rodeo: Moffat County’s Kasen Brennise signs to rope for Weatherford College | CraigDailyPress.com

Ready, raring to rodeo: Moffat County’s Kasen Brennise signs to rope for Weatherford College

Left: Kasen Brennise, then 12, smiles alongside his horse. Right: Kasen Brennise prepares to sign his letter of intent to compete for the Weatherford College rodeo team, joined by, from left, father Scott Brennise, mother Sheila Brennise, Moffat County High School Athletics and Activities Director Rich Houghton and sister Kinlie Brennise.

A lifetime in the sport of rodeo has led to Moffat County High School's Kasen Brennise wrangling his way to the next stage.

Kasen signed his letter of intent Tuesday to compete for Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area.

The MCHS senior plans to specialize in roping events while representing the Coyotes, though it was only after getting a look at the campus and community that he decided the school would be the best place to lend his lasso, considering multiple options, primarily in Wyoming like Gillette and Laramie and other parts of Texas such as Lubbock.

Also an important factor was the team's coach, Johnny Emmons, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo five times and the Texas Circuit Finals 20 years in a row, as well as being inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Like Kasen, Emmons focused on tie-down and team roping in his youth.

"He's a really nice guy. It's a really nice town and school, and he's a big part of that," Kasen said. "We kind of just had that connection."

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A full-ride scholarship includes tuition, books and room and board, as well as accommodations for his horse. While at Weatherford, he plans to study agriculture business and will likely return to Northwest Colorado to take over the family ranch.

Parents Scott and Sheila have long encouraged his pursuit of greatness in rodeo.

"He could have went just about anywhere, but he felt really inspired by this coach," said Sheila, who serves as the Moffat County rodeo coach. "It's the top region, the most competitive region, and it'll really push him to get outside his comfort zone. We're excited to see where it takes him."

Though he's also competed in golf and, to a greater degree, basketball at MCHS, his first love is in the arena.

Throughout high school and middle school, Kasen has been a regular contender at rodeos near and far, partnering with his younger sister, Kinlie, in the team roping.

In fact, it was Kinlie who first showed interest in Weatherford.

"He didn't even want to go visit it, so we went there for me, but he ended up liking it," she said, noting she plans to attend the college as well when she graduates next year.

Colorado High School Rodeo Association's season picks up again in mid-April.

Luckily for the Brennise family, the biggest events won't require too much travel. The state finals return to Craig during Memorial Day weekend, while the national competition is in Rock Springs, Wyoming, this summer.

The siblings ranked fifth in the state in team roping in the past fall but did better individually — Kasen is currently the top tie-down roper and Kinlie the top breakaway roper.

The duo also was recently named to the Bloomer Trailers high school team for the second year as a roping pair.

Though it won't be the first time the elder Brennise has paired with someone other than his sister for team roping for a season, it will still be an adjustment starting without her in a new place later this year.

"It's definitely going to be different without her," he said.