Cole Thomas and Kaden Profili are the 2023 Resistol Rookie Roundup Champions
Consistency and try were the winning combo for Mississippi’s Cole Thomas and Texas’ Kaden Profili to win the 2023 Resistol Rookie Roundup.
Cole Thomas and Kaden Profili leaving the boxes to rope their steer at the 2023 Resistol Rookie Roundup.
Cole Thomas and Kaden Profili take the 2023 Resistol Rookie Roundup title. Roseanna Sales photo.

Mississippi and Texas connected in 4.9 seconds April 29 for Cole Thomas and Kaden Profili to take home the 2023 Resistol Rookie Roundup title in Fort Worth. 

Thomas and Profili each pocketed $1,156 for a second-place finish in the first round with a 5.0-second run.

The Resistol Rookie Roundup, only in its second year, was held April 28–29 at Fort Worth’s historic Cowtown Coliseum where only 15 of the top PRCA rookies competed in a tournament-style showdown. The top eight in each event Friday moved on to a clean-slate round on Saturday, which was followed by the four-man round immediately after.

“The start was pretty quick,” Thomas, 24, from Meadville, Mississippi, said. “The first one happened pretty quick. The steer kind of fought the handle a little bit, but we were able to get by him.”

With a 5.0-second run under their belts, the young guns moved on to the eight-man round where they bested the field by shaving 0.1 seconds from their run to move them on to the four-man round. There, they turned in another 4.9-second run to take the win and $2,500 each.

“We were blessed to go last and knew what we had to do,” Thomas said. “We went a little bit farther than we’d been going, but still made a good run and we were blessed to be consistent. Two 4.9s and five flat—that’s about as consistent as I can get.”

Thomas was riding a 12-year-old bay gelding he calls Chino. He added Chino to his lineup two years ago, and Thomas has seen his roping change since then.

 “I didn’t really have anything, and a guy bought him from a good friend of ours down there in Mississippi and kind of had him hid out,” Thomas said. “He had quit roping and [his horse] was sitting in the pasture.I called him one day and asked him if he was using him and he said no and told me I could come and get him. He was a blessing. I got him pretty reasonable, and my roping has done really good since I’ve been riding him.”

Profili, the 21-year-old attending Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, was aboard a 6-year-old mare named Grace. Profili bought the mare only a few weeks ago, and she fits him well.

“She sets me up for the turn really good,” Profili said. “I can see the steer everywhere I go, and I just see when I take my shot, she makes it really easy.” 

While Thomas and Profili may be in their rookie year, they’re no strangers to the sport. Both young men grew up in roping families and have competed their entire lives. Profili credits their families for supporting them achieve a goal that comes, literally, once in a lifetime.

“Just a big thanks to our families,” Profili said. “Helping us do this—what we love—and supporting us.”

Thomas is also grateful for their families and the opportunity to be at the Rookie Roundup.

“It’s amazing,” Thomas said. “All the glory to God. He let me be here, and it is a blessing. It kind of just shows that we can do it and gives us a little boost in the rookie standings.”

Thomas will head back to Mississippi before heading out for the summer with his regular-season partner, Clay Green from Pine Grove, Louisiana. Profili will rope next in Guymon, Oklahoma, with his partner, Ty Arnold of Midway, Texas.

Both have already learned some valuable lessons in their rookie season.

“Never quit trying hard,” Thomas said. “There’s been a lot of people helping me, and there’s a lot of people out there for everybody. There’s always somebody in your corner, so you never quit and keep going.”

“Just keep practicing and keep learning how to hang with those top guys and make it,” Profili added. “Just keep trying.” 

First Round

1. Trevor Olson/Clay Clayman, 4.9 seconds, $1,329 each; 2. Cole Thomas/Kaden Profili, 5.0, $1,156; 3. Kooper Branum/Cooper Freeman, 5.5, $982; 4. Will Eddleman/Dylan Hancock, 6.2, $809; 5. Kolby Krieger/Bo Yaussi, 6.3, $636; 6. Cole Frey/Colton Herrera, 6.4, $462; 7. Ross Mitchell/Cade Cowan, 7.2, $289; 8. Tyler Jackson/Josh Hamby, 12.7, $116. 

Semifinals

1. Cole Thomas/Kaden Profili, 4.9 seconds; 2. Trevor Olson/Clay Clayman, 5.2; 3. Ross Mitchell/Cade Cowan, 6.8; 4. Kooper Branum/Cooper Freeman, 10.1; 5. (tie) Cole Frey/Colton Herrera, Kolby Krieger/Bo Yaussi, Will Eddleman/Dylan Hancock and Tyler Jackson/Josh Hamby, NT. 

Finals

1. Cole Thomas/Kaden Profili, 4.9 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Trevor Olson/Clay Clayman, 10.0, $1,500; 3. Ross Mitchell/Cade Cowan, NT, $1,000; 4. Kooper Branum/Cooper Freeman, NT, $500. 

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