story by Lindsay Humphrey Like most little boys, Carson New wanted to slide his hand into a bull rope. His mom – Jennifer – decided […]
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Meet the Member Case Phillips
story by Lindsay King
Wewoka, Oklahoma, OKJHSRA competitor Case Phillips roped in his first junior high nationals rodeo back in June and it was easily the biggest stage he’s ever been on. Luckily, he took his friends – who also happens to be his older brother – with him. “Tobe and I are pretty close. We play all our sports together, we rope together and we always practice together,” 13-year-old Case said of his 14-year-old brother. Tobe might be a year older than Case, but they are in the same grade and neither would have it any other way. “There is a lot of competition beteen Tobe and I, both at school and in rodeo.” They have a 10-year-old brother, Jesse, who is also an avid calf roper on the breakaway sie of things.
This soon-to-be eighth grader at Wewoka Middle School has always played sports – basketball, golf and baseball. Riding and roping, however, have been a life-long pursuit for Case. “We have always ridden horses and I grew up working cattle on the family ranch.” With an estimated 160 momma cows on the place, plenty of pasture work is part of most days. “I like to rope cattle out in the pasture mostly. I just like to rope anything, anywhere really.” At 11 years old, Case started roping at rodeos. “My dad (Monte) roped calves growing. I grew up roping the dummy and my first rodeo was in the OJRA.” His parents got him started and their encouragement and wisdom keeps Case going. “They help me practice every night and of course haul me everywhere. Dad always tells me to be consistent and have a good attitude.” Both come easy with a lot of disciplined practice. “My mom (Lindsey) drives me everywhere and she encourages me.”
Surrounding yourself with the people you emulate isn’t just in the physical sense. “I watch videos of Trevor Brazile all the time. That has helped me quite a bit with my roping. He is a very humble guy that is thankful for his fans and good at everything he does.” Like Trevor, Case is a calf roper through and through. Right now, he is a competitor in breakaway and ribbon roping because he only rope in two calf events in junior high. “I used to tie goats and tie-down rope but I quit those when I started junior high rodeo.” After winning the state title, there’s no question that breakaway is Case’s favorite event. “It’s always come naturally for me, it is what we have always done since starting rodeo.”
Going into state finals, of course Case was nervous. “I was winning it going into state, but after that first calf I knew I just had to be consistent to keep my place.” A less than fast time in the second round bumped Case to second place, but he made up for it by roping smart in the short round which led to the state title. He also qualified for the ribbon roping with his partner Brooke Crenshaw “I was nervous about the roping because it is so much tougher competition than anywhere else.” *national results here.
In the last two years, Case has seen many short rounds and walked away with multiple buckles and saddles. “My first year in the OJRA (2016) I won the breakaway and the next year I won the ribbons and all around.” At Chris Neal’s, Case took fifth in the average followed by second at Future Stars and fourth at Cody Ohls. As Case enters his final year in the OKJHSRA, he is thinking about continuing his rodeo career as well as remaining close to animals in the years to come. “I would like to become a vet one day, so I can work keep working with animals every day.”