Imagine Garden City Community College’s football team only being able to practice on holidays, or during vacation breaks from school, or on long weekends.

Imagine the basketball teams, or volleyball or baseball or any of them.

But that’s what GCCC cowboy Ean Price and his brother, Ethan, are forced to do to practice team roping with one another. That’s because Ean goes to GCCC and Ethan, three years Ean’s elder, attends Northwestern Oklahoma State, but the brothers still compete together in the team roping event in the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

“We’ve been roping together since as far back as I can remember,” Ean said Friday night, after he and his brother posted a 6.3-second time in the slack portion of the opening day of the Broncbuster Rodeo at Broncbuster Palace. “There’s just some pride about it, being out there with your brother. You don’t see a lot of brother teams out there. You do here and there, and you see family roping, but roping with your brother who is three years older than you is pretty cool.”

It’s even better when your time is second-best heading into Saturday.

“We didn’t really know a lot about the cattle, but we watched the previous runs and kind of realized they were a little slow,” Ean said. “And we drew a really slow one, and my brother just scored him out there, and he gave him what he need to see.”

Ethan roped the neck and Ean the heel, and just like that the brothers were in prime position to make Sunday’s short-go — the top 10 in the event run a third time through in the event to establish final positioning.

So how do Ean and Ethan — both from Leedey, Okla. — get some practice in? Well, when they can.

“A lot of times when I go home, I’ll make a detour out to Alva (location of Northwestern Oklahoma State), and we’ll get some practice in,” Ean said. “And if there’s a holiday or a family event and we’re both going home, we’ll go home a day early, and maybe stay a day late and get all the practice in that we can.

“But it really helps that we’ve been roping together for forever. It helps to know how he likes to rope and how I like to rope.”

And that familiarity paid off Friday, with only the team of Tanner Jackman (Kansas State) and Joel Miller (Pratt) in front with a run of 6.1 seconds.

Ean even backed that up with a solid 15.3-second mark in calf roping, keeping in the hunt for a short-go berth.

The other Busters did not quite have as good of a day.

Chanelle Andrews posted a 15.37 in barrel racing during Friday’s slack, but that placed her well outside of the top 10 entering Saturday. Kenzie Jones tied her goat in 9.7 seconds, but she was in 17th after Friday’s featured run.

Larae Bolden was unable to post a time in breakaway roping, as did Coy Christian in bareback and Colt Hurley in saddle bronc.

Contact Levi Burnfin at lburnfin@gctelegram.com