You Oughta Know

A Complete List of Team Roping Resistol Rookies of the Year
The Resistol Rookie of the Year is a coveted title that can only be earned in an athlete's freshman year of competition.

The Resistol Rookie of the Year title is awarded to competitors who find success in their first year of ProRodeo competition.

In the team roping, it goes to the top earners on the head and heel sides and can jump-start the career of the recipient—catching the attention of sponsors and enthusiasts. Adding to its allure, athletes only have one shot at it, making the Resistol Rookie of the Year one of the most coveted titles in rodeo.

The first recorded PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year in team roping went to Brian Murphy of Paradise Valley, California, in 1977. Only one team roping Resistol Rookie of the Year was awarded until nearly 20 years later, when in 1996, Scooter Nolen Jr. and Mickey Gomez became the first to receive the “header” and “heeler” distinction.

Complete list of Resistol Rookies of the Year in the team roping

1977 — Brian Murphy; Paradise Valley, California

1978 — Brian Burrows, Reedley, California

1979 Bill E. Parker, Billings, Montana

1980 Tee Woolman, Llano, Texas

Tee Woolman heading
Class of 1980 Resistol Rookie Tee Woolman became a Class of 2004 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee. Photo courtesy of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

1981 Bret Beach, Gilbert, Arizona

1982 Mike Fuller, Clarkston, Washington; Chris Henderson, Coulee City, Washington

1983 Joel Maker, Poteau, Oklahoma

1984 William “Rusty” Wright, Mount Pleasant, Texas

1985 Jerry Buckles, Scottsbluff, Nebraska

1986 Dennis Gatz, Oakdale, California

1987 Charles Pogue, Ringling, Oklahoma

Charles Pouge heading for Steve Northcott at the USTRC Open.
Charles Pouge, Rookie class of 1987, heading for Steve Northcott at the USTRC Open. Photo by Brenda Allen Photography.

1988 Flynn Farris, Dalhart, Texas

Fast fact: Texas is the state with the most Resistol Rookie of the Year team ropers with 17. California has 10, and nine are from Arizona.

1989 Andy Anaya, Tucson, Arizona

1990 Liddon Cowden, Merced, California

1991 Martin Lucero, Villa Nueva, New Mexico

Martin Lucero sets up to heel a steer
The 1991 Rookie, Martin Lucero, is also the 2010 NFR Average Champion. TRJ File Photo

1992 Britt Bockius, Dewey, Oklahoma

1993 Nick Sarchett, Scottsdale, Arizona

1994 Brye Sayer, Phoenix, Arizona

1995 Shad Chadwick, Mesa, Arizona

1996 Heading – Scooter Nolen Jr., Whitesboro, Texas

1996 Heeling – Mickey Gomez, Salado, Texas

1997 Heading – Kit Sherwood, Snowflake, Arizona

1997 Heeling – Kyle Lockett, Ivanhoe, California

1998 Heading – Charly Crawford, Canby, Oregon

Charly Crawford heads at the 2020 NFR
Charly Crawford is the 1998 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year who went on to compete at the NFR 10 times.

1998 Heeling – John Paul Lucero, Villanueva, New Mexico

1999 Heading – Ty Thomas, Idabel, Oklahoma

1999 Heeling – Craig Branham, Canyon Country, California

2000 Heading – Nick Sartain, Yukon, Oklahoma

Nick Sartain pumps his fist in the Southpoint Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Class of 2000 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year Nick Sartain became the World Champion Header in 2009.

2000 Heeling – Trey Johnson, Lovington, New Mexico

2001 Heading – Reese Kerr, Cotulla, Texas

2001 Heeling – Matt Robertson, Augusta, Montana

2002 Heading – Travis Gallais, Olds, Alberta

2002 Heeling – Randon Adams, Logandale, Nevada

2003 Heading – Jason Adams, Logandale, Nevada

2003 Heeling – Patrick Smith, Midland, Texas

Fast fact: Reigning 2022 NFR average champions Patrick Smith and Tanner Tomlinson were both Resistol Rookies of the Year (2003 and 2020).

2004 Heading – Jake Cooper, Monument, New Mexico

2004 Heeling – Jim Ross Cooper, Stephenville, Texas

2005 Heading – Brandon Beers, Powell Butte, Oregon

2005 Heeling – Douglas Gillespie, Arrowhead, Alberta

2006 Heading – Keven Daniel, Altha, Florida

2006 Heeling – Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nevada

Jade Corkill prepares to heel a steer
Since earning his Resistol Rookie Heeler of Year title in 2006, Jade Corkill has won the World Championship three times. TRJ File Photo

2007 Heading – Justin Young, Firestone, Colorado

2007 Heeling – Broc Cresta, Santa Rosa, California

Broc Cresta passed away at the age of 25, but the 2007 Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year won Cheyenne in 2009 and made the NFR twice, where he tied the Round 10 arena record with Spencer Mitchell in 2011, before he was called home from the 2012 Cheyenne Frontier Days. Photo by James Phifer.

2008 Heading – Joel Bach, Milsap, Texas

2008 Heeling – Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah

2009 Heading – Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Georgia

2009 Heeling – Justin Hendrick, Rosenberg, Texas

2010 Heading – Kaden Richard, Roosevelt, Utah

2010 Heeling – Matt Garza, Las Cruces, New mexico

2011 Heading – Joshua Torres, Bell City, Lousiana

2011 Heeling – Dakota Kirchenschlager, De Leon, Texas

2012 Heading – Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas

Tyler Wade Trey Yates
Tyler Wade started his roping career heeling, but switched to heading in 2010. He’s advanced to the NFR five times starting in 2016. Photo by Jamie Arviso.

2012 Heeling – Clint Summers, Lake City, Forida

2013 Heading – Chace Thompson, Munday, Texas

2013 Heeling – Will Woodfin, Marshall, Texas

2014 Heading – Rhett Anderson, Anabella, Utah

2014 Heeling – Junior Nogueira, Scottsdale, Arizona

Fast fact: The reigning 2022 World Champions, Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueria, were both Resistol Rookies of the Year.

Junior Nogueira celebration American Rodeo
When Junior Nogueria moved the the United States in 2014, he had little money and didn’t own a horse. Now, he has three world championships to his name. | RC Photography

2015 Heading – Cody Snow, Los Olivos, California

2015 Heeling – Quinn Kesler, Holden, Utah

2016 Heading – Dustin Egusquiza, Mariana, Florida

2016 Heeling – Dalton Pearce, San Luis Obispo, California

2017 Heading – Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Alabama

2017 Heeling – Cody Hogan, Athens, Texas

2018 Heading – Jeff Flenniken, Caldwell, Idaho

2018 Heeling – Ross Ashford, Lott, Texas

2019 Heading – Kal Fuller, Bozeman, Montana

2019 Heeling – Paden Bray, Stephenville, Texas

2020 Heading – Tanner Tomlinson, Angleton, Texas

Tanner Tomlinson shrugs after clinching the 2022 NFR Average title
Tanner Tomlinson earned $307,095 in ProRodeo competition in 2022, just three years after his freshman season as a header with 2003 Resistol Rookie of the Year Patrick Smith on the heels. Photo by Jamie Arviso.

2020 Heeling – Clay Futrell, Union Grove, North Carolina

2021 Heading – John Gaona, Winkelman, Arizona

2021 Heeling – Caleb Hendrix, Fallon, Nevada

2022 Heading – Tanner James, Porterville, California

2022 Heeling – Junior Zambrano, Nogales, Arizona

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