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Sep 29
MPCC Rodeo Team members win all-around championships

Koby Jacobson.jpg

Two Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team members claimed all-around titles in rodeos at Fort Dodge, Iowa over the weekend. They were Koby Jacobson, of Hershey, and Zane Patrick, of Bartlett. 

The team competed at the Iowa Central Community College Triton Stampede in what was essentially a doubleheader. With three colleges in the Great Plains Region unable to have rodeos this fall because of COVID-19, the Triton Stampede picked up one of the events that was cancelled. That meant packing two rodeos into three days – Thursday through Saturday. 

The men on MPCC's team had enough points to win the first rodeo and place second in the second rodeo. A total of 21 team members advanced to the short go Saturday night. 

Jacobson led the charge – winning the bull riding in the first rodeo then placing second in the bull riding and winning both the steer wrestling and the all-around championship at the second rodeo. 

"That's pretty impressive," said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team coach. "To go from one end of the arena to the other and win as much as Koby did is phenomenal." 

Zane Patrick.jpg

Patrick also won the steer wrestling and was third in the team roping in the first rodeo – earning enough points to make him the men's all-around champ. 

Continuing the streak in the steer wrestling, Marshall Still, of Oconto, placed fourth; Nick Rettinger, of Amidon, N.D., was fifth; Jacob Haren, of Erie, Colo., came in sixth and Austin Madison, of Whiting, Iowa, was seventh. 

"That's just awesome," Nokes said. "Our steer wrestlers continue to dominate. We've now won the steer wrestling at all four rodeos we've competed in this season, and all 11 of our steer wrestlers have scored points." 

Wynn Schaack, of Wall, S.D., also won one of his events – team roping in the first rodeo. The full list of individual results are as follows: 

First Rodeo

All-around: Zane Patrick 

Steer wrestling: first – Zane Patrick; fourth – Marshall Still; fifth – Nick Rettinger; sixth – Jacob Haren; seventh – Austin Madison. 

Bull riding: first – Koby Jacobson 

Tie-down roping: third – Austin Madison 

Team roping: first – Wynn Schaack; third – Danielle Wray, Ord, and Zane Patrick; sixth – Ethan Wright, Sanborn, Iowa and Brooklyn Spencer, Ulen, Minn. 

Breakaway roping: third – Jentri Hurlburt, Arcadia 

Second Rodeo 

All-around: Koby Jacobson 

Steer wrestling: first – Koby Jacobson; fourth – Barrett Schlieker, Fort Lupton, Colo. 

Bull riding: second – Koby Jacobson 

Breakaway roping: third – Sheyenne Hammond, Valentine

Tie-down roping: fourth – Sterling Lee, Rhame, N.D.

Team roping: fourth – Barrett Schlieker and Jentri Hurlburt

The team will compete in the last of the fall rodeos Oct. 1-3 in Dickinson, N.D.

Sep 28
MPCC/instructors win Reader’s Choice awards

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Mid-Plains Community College and three of its instructors have been recognized with Reader's Choice awards from The North Platte Telegraph. 

The annual contest allows Telegraph readers to nominate and vote for their favorite leaders and organizations throughout the community. 

This year, MPCC won the title of Best College. Kevin O'Connor was named Best Instructor for the math classes that he teaches, and, in the same category, business instructor Cathy Nutt and nursing instructor Lana Albrecht-Watson tied for second. 

Sep 28
MCC part of TestNebraska free COVID-19 testing Tuesday

The TestNebraska initiative and McCook Community College are having free COVID-19 testing Sept. 29 and Oct. 7 at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds Merchant Building (West Fifth).

Drive-up and walk-up testing will be from 7 a.m.-noon Sept. 29 and Oct. 7 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Testing is free and open to everyone.

Everyone is encouraged to preregister. You can do that as well access additional information at:

The tests are part of the TestNebraska initiative. They will be administered by the West Central District Health Department and sent to Lincoln for analysis. Results typically take three to four business days. Testing is open to anyone – regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.

Sep 28
MCC students, faculty, staff celebrate Heritage Days

MCC students, faculty, and staff celebrated Heritage Days 2020 with a march in the parade Saturday. Student athletes staffed the MCC Indian Boosters food booth Saturday raising money for all six MCC sports teams.

Sep 28
MCC volleyball helps unload truck for new neighbor


College volleyball players recently helped put the "Community" in McCook Community College, helping a new neighbor move in to his new home.

James Foster, new administrator for Hillcrest Nursing home, and his wife had been temporarily living in a hotel while waiting to sell their home in Colby. That's where they met Assistant MCC Volleyball Coach Rick Brown, who was also living in "temporary housing" moving from Arizona in June when he started his new dual job as assistant volleyball coach and Brooks Hall Resident Life Assistant.

Over time, the Fosters not only got to meet Rick, they got to meet some of the volleyball team members.

"We were really impressed with these young ladies and how they handled themselves and interacted with each other and seemed committed to each other as a team… just good, good citizens," Foster said.

When the players found out he was finally going to be able to move in last weekend, he asked them if they might be interested in helping unload the truck when it got to town. They were.

"We're one community and the volleyball team seems to understand that," Foster said. "If you're young or old, you are one community."

"When our team got done unloading the truck, they made a generous donation to the MCC Volleyball Program," Brown said.

Sep 28
Free tuition still available to offset COVID hardships

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Training for freight, stock and material movers is available through the Nebraska Workforce Retraining Initiative. The initiative provides free tuition to qualified applicants. 

More than 400 scholarships are still available through the Nebraska Workforce Retraining Initiative for anyone who has become unemployed or underemployed as a result of COVID-19. 

Mid-Plains Community College is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Labor and Department of Economic Development to offer the initiative, which provides free tuition to qualified applicants for training in high-wage, high-demand fields. 

With so many scholarships still available, the application deadline has been extended to Oct. 16. The length of each program of study will vary based on the needs of the various industries. All programs will be complete by May. 

Amy Sabatka, MPCC area career placement coordinator, said the online business options have been especially popular. 

"Offering courses such as Microsoft Office and Administrative Assistant online allows students to complete the trainings at a time convenient for them," said Sabatka. "The skills they learn in those program areas are applicable to any career they choose to pursue." 

Scholarships for books, tools and other course materials are available to all qualified applicants. In some cases, assistance with childcare and transportation expenses may be provided. 

Approved applicants can also request a continuation of their current unemployment benefits through the Nebraska Department of Labor, and the job search requirement may be eliminated during the training period.

Those interested in receiving more information or applying can visit

Sep 22
New MCC choir forming for teachers of all subjects

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The McCook Community College Music Department is offering area educators of all subjects the chance to join a choir for educators who love music.

MCC Music Instructor Dr. Mirna Cabrera said the goal of this choir is to provide a space to make music as a group while learning and growing as individuals.

"Whether you are a good singer or not, that's not as important," she said. "My main motivation is to provide an artistic outlet for education professionals so they can meet people who share common values as teachers while offering the chance to discover together the power of music for our souls."

The repertoire selected will include a variety of genres and styles, from classical to world. The level of the pieces selected will largely depend on the number of educators who show interest as well as the voice types available. The semester will be capped by a performance in MCC's Fall Concert Nov. 17.

All rehearsals will take place Thursdays in the Weeth Theater, in Tipton Hall, on the MCC campus starting Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Rehearsals will last about 90 minutes and go each Thursday through Nov. 12. There will be a dress rehearsal Nov. 16 from 6-7 p.m. and the Fall Concert will be Nov. 19 from 7-8:15 p.m.

Singers will be required to wear a mask into and out of the buildings but after socially distancing inside the classrooms, masks can be removed.

If you are interested in participating, please email Dr. Cabrera at with your full name and voice part. 

Sep 21
MPCC Rodeo Team to host timed event fundraiser in McCook


Former MPCC Rodeo Team members JD Draper and Clay Bauer compete in the team roping at a previous timed event fundraiser hosted by the rodeo team. This year's competition will be Oct. 9-10.                                

The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team will host a timed event fundraiser Oct. 9-10 at the Kiplinger Arena in McCook. 

The event is open to the public and free to watch. Only cash will be accepted for entry fees, and the payout will also be cash.

Activities will begin with calf roping and breakaway roping at 7 p.m. Oct. 9. Contestants must be entered by 6:30 p.m., and the first to enter will be the last to rope. 

The calf roping fee is $150 for three head. Contestants may enter twice on two different horses. There is a handicap for those 45 and older and for high school students if approved. 

The entry fee for breakaway roping is also $150 for three head. Contestants may enter twice on two different horses. Women, men over 60 and boys younger than 14 will be allowed to compete. The first to enter will be the last to rope. 

Steer wrestling will start at 11 a.m. Oct. 10. Contestants must be entered by 10:30 a.m. The entry fee is $150 for three head, and a contestant can enter twice on two different horses. Competition will be in the outdoor arena – weather permitting. 

The team roping will begin immediately after the steer wrestling, but no earlier than 1 p.m. It will start with #13 team roping. Contestants must be entered once by the time the first team runs, and entries will close at the 50th team. The cost is $100 per team for four head. The roping is progressive on one. 

The #10 team roping, also progressive on one, will begin immediately following #13. Contestants must be entered by the time the roping starts, and entries will close after the 50th team. The fee is $80 per team for four head. 

Concessions and team merchandise will be available for purchase from the Wranglers, the MPCC Rodeo Team's official booster committee. 

More information about the fundraising rodeo is available from Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach, at (308) 350-0514. Proceeds from the event will be used to help offset team expenses. 

Sep 21
MPCC Rodeo Team takes the lead in regional standings


MPCC Rodeo Team member Zane Patrick, of Bartlett, throws a steer in the steer wrestling during the MPCC Stampede. The effort earned him third in the first rodeo.

The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team is off to a great start after hosting the first competition of the season at the Wild West Arena in North Platte over the weekend. The MPCC Stampede consisted of two rodeos spread out over three days, Thursday through Saturday. 

The MPCC men's team won the championship in the first rodeo and placed second in the second rodeo – giving them an early lead in the Great Plains regional standings. Individual results are as follows: 

Rodeo One 

Bull riding: Koby Jacobson, Hershey 

Breakaway roping: fifth - Danielle Wray, Ord; eighth - Caitlyn Comfort - Elwood 

Steer wrestling: first - Landon Sivertsen, Ree Heights, S.D.; second - Sterling Lee, Rhame, N.D.; third - Zane Patrick, Bartlett 

Tie-down roping: fifth - Sterling Lee, Rhame, N.D. 

Team roping: split for sixth and seventh - Sterling Lee, Rhame, N.D. and Jacob Haren – Erie, Colo.; eighth - Mykelsi Schnose, Oelrichs, S.D. and Marshall Still, Oconto 

Rodeo Two 

Bull riding: second - Koby Jacobson, Hershey 

Steer wrestling: first - Wynn Schaack, Wall, S.D.; second - Marshall Still, Oconto; fifth – Quade Potter, Stockville 

Team roping: fifth - Wynn Schaack, Wall, S.D. 

Tie-down roping: fourth - Nick Rettinger, Amidon, N.D. 

"The men's team was definitely led by the steer wrestlers," said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team coach. "They took first, second and third in the first rodeo and a barrier kept us from doing the same thing in the second rodeo. What's phenomenal in my mind is that we basically had six different team members dominate the first two rodeos. They've been putting in a lot of hard work on some tough steers, and I was happy to see that pay off for them." 

He noted that several of the returning athletes had improved significantly from last year. 

"Sivertsen is another one who has really been working hard, so to see him jump out and win the first rodeo was awesome," Nokes said. "Wynn, in the second rodeo, started out having the rodeo you dream of. He won first in the steer wrestling, first in the team roping and fifth in the tie-down roping then came back in the short go to win first in the steer wrestling again. He stumbled a bit in the final round with an illegal catch in the team roping and a broken barrier in the tie-down roping." 

Nokes was hoping for a little more out of all of his athletes. 

"Overall, we faltered as a team," Nokes said. "There were some early season jitters that got to us. I feel like we did the worst we will do all season, and we still placed first and second in the men's team standings. We are so deep in talent that I believe we can make a few minor adjustments and the other colleges will be looking at our taillights the rest of the year." 

He's confident the women's team will be a force to be reckoned with as well. 

"Our women's team didn't score a lot of points at the Stampede, but they showed why they are there and showed a lot of skill," Nokes said. "I have high hopes for a couple of the freshmen. We will dang sure get some girls to nationals in the breakaway and team roping – it just didn't fall our way last weekend. I'm looking forward to this weekend. They will have a chance to redeem themselves, and I look for them to do that." 

The team will compete Thursday through Saturday in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Sep 21
MPCC/North Platte Chamber to host Nebraska Chamber fall forum


Mid-Plains Community College and the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation invite business and manufacturing leaders from across MPCC's 18-county service area to attend the NE Chamber's Fall Forum. 

The forum will be from 8-9:30 a.m. (CT) Oct. 8, via Zoom webinar. 

"The NE Chamber fall forums have been a time-honored tradition among state and local chamber members for years. In addition to offering valuable time with state leaders and candidates in an election year, they offer a chance for frank, two-way communication between Chamber members and leadership on issues affecting business," said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber president. "We just could not forego the fall forums due to the pandemic, so we reworked them into a model that is arguably even more compelling as we march toward economic recovery."

Named "Straight Talk with State Leaders," the forums are designed to inspire community dialogue on economic development and workforce needs unique to each region. They also provide an opportunity for state and local chamber members to engage directly with state legislators and legislative candidates as the 2020 General Election approaches. 

Featured speakers this year include NE Chamber President Bryan Slone, Blueprint Nebraska President Jim Smith and MPCC President Ryan Purdy as well as state legislators and 2020 legislative candidates. 

"We certainly encourage the business community to listen in as this is always a great opportunity to hear a wrap-up about this year's unique legislative session and other key statewide planning efforts and issues," said Gary Person, president of the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation. "We appreciate the community college's involvement this year," 

There is no cost to attend the forum. Registration can be done online at

The Nebraska Chamber is the largest, statewide business association and has proudly served as the voice of Nebraska's business community to state leaders since 1912.

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Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​