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Starting lineups for PBR Team Series season-opener in Cheyenne

by Chris Dize
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PUEBLO, Colo. – In a matter of days, the PBR Team Series will make history when its inaugural season officially gets underway in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the Daddy of ’em All.

Before taking a look at the starting lineups for Monday night (10 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network), here is a refresher on how the competition format works for PBR Teams.

Each of the eight founding teams for the PBR Team Series is competing in a head-to-head, five-on-five bull riding game each night in Cheyenne. The team with the highest aggregate score will be the game winner, and ties will be allowed. Following the team’s initial game on Monday, the same process will be repeated on the second night of competition, with each team facing a new opponent. While the rosters have been set for their first games on July 25, teams can change their roster before the second day of action.

Following the second round of games on Tuesday night, the final night of Cheyenne will feature a Bonus Round with each team selecting one rider attempting one more bull drafted by the team. This rider does not have to be one of the five riders who competed earlier in his team’s respective games and instead can be an alternate (bench) rider. The Bonus Round is independent of the results of that event’s previous games and only applies to the overall event standings in the case of a tie. Teams receive bonus points based on their rider’s placement in the Bonus Round: 1st (8 points), 2nd (7 points), 3rd (6 points), 4th (5 points), 5th (4 points), 6th (3 points), 7th (2 points), 8th (1 point). Teams will be placed via ride score and then buckoff time.

The overall event-winning team at each event will be the team with the best overall win-loss record. In the event of a tie in the event standings, a team’s bonus points will be the first tiebreaker. If there is still a tie, the second tiebreaker will be the team’s total aggregate score from its two games. The next and final tiebreaker will be combined buckoff time from a team’s games.

Now let’s check out the starting lineups!

Missouri Thunder (0-0) vs. Ariat Texas Rattlers (0-0)

Andrew Alvidrez (MT) vs. Light’s Out
Joao Ricardo Vieira (TR) vs. Sugar Boom Boom
Jesse Petri (MT) vs. American Gangster
Cody Jesus (TR) vs. Big Wave
Cody Teel (MT) vs. Bubba G
Brady Fielder (TR) vs. Air Shift
Clayton Sellars (MT) vs. Milk Mustache
Ednelio Almeida (TR) vs. Concealed Carry
Colten Fritzlan (MT) vs. Shake & Bake
Braidy Randolph (TR) vs. Moonlight Party

MISSOURI RIDER TO WATCHCody Jesus was the big surprise on the scoreboard when it came to the 2021 PBR World Finals. But peel the onion back a little further, and Andrew Alvidrez almost became the Cody Jesus story, with two buckoffs at the Finals beyond the 7-second mark. If those two buckoffs were qualified rides, Alvidrez, who competed admirably with a broken foot, would have placed inside the Top 3 of the event average.


TEXAS RIDER TO WATCH: Rattlers head coach Cody Lambert is not waiting to unleash his latest free agent, going with Braidy Randolph in the Rattlers’ first game in team history. The 21-year-old Randolph most recently won the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Lambert is now going to roll out the unproven rider against the rank Moonlight Party. Randolph, who dropped out of high school to pursue a rodeo career full-time, is 8-for-17 this year in PRCA competition. He is nearly three years removed from a gruesome broken tibia/fibula injury in Syracuse, New York, which also led to a leg infection.

REMATCH OF THE GAMEJoao Ricardo Vieira vs. Sugar Boom Boom. Vieira heads into the Team Series following another heartbreaking defeat in the individual World Championship race, but Lambert believes Vieira can finally taste championship glory via the PBR Team Series. Lambert has placed Vieira against Sugar Boom Boom on Monday night; a bull Vieira is a perfect 2-for-2 against.

Nashville Stampede (0-0) vs. Carolina Cowboys (0-0)

Joao Henrique Lucas (NS) vs. Blunt Force Trauma
Daylon Swearingen (CC) vs. Lil 2 Train
Kaique Pacheco (NS) vs. High Country Hitman
Boudreaux Campbell (CC) vs. The Undertaker
Fernando Henrique Novais (NS) vs. Experiment 626
Mason Taylor (CC) vs. Slim Shady
Thiago Salgado (NS) vs. Cowboy Cool
Wingson Henrique da Silva (CC) vs. Juju
Ryan Dirteater (NS) vs. Twisted Feather
Ramon de Lima (CC) vs. Falcon Eddie

NASHVILLE RIDER TO WATCHThiago Salgado missed all of the 2022 Unleash The Beast recovering from reconstructive right shoulder surgery, but the 20-year-old is fully healthy and went 7-for-12 at six PBR Challenger Series events. It is easy to get excited about 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco and the return of 2016 PBR World Finals event winner Ryan Dirteater from a year-and-a-half retirement, but the Stampede will likely be an impact team if Salgado rises to the occasion.

CAROLINA RIDER TO WATCH: You can’t disrespect the reigning PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen. Make no qualms about it, Swearingen earned himself his gold buckle with a sensational 6-for-8 performance at the PBR World Finals, defeating two previous World Champions in Jose Vitor Leme and Kaique Pacheco. It may seem odd to say Swearingen is poised to be a breakout PBR star, but that could very well become the case following his gold buckle victory. Swearingen embraced an underdog role heading into the World Finals. Now, he will be looked upon to lead the Cowboys until 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis is cleared for a return to competition from two left shoulder surgeries. As of July 21, Swearingen is 17-for-27 (62.97%) at all levels of competition since winning the world title.


REMATCH OF THE GAME: Swearingen takes on Lil 2 Train for the fifth time in his career on Monday night. Sweringen has bucked off Lil 2 Train three straight outs since first riding him for 89 points in Duluth, Georgia, in the last PBR event before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Kansas City Outlaws (0-0) vs. Oklahoma Freedom (0-0)

Marcus Mast (KCO) vs. Safety Meeting
Eli Vastbinder (OF) vs. Medicine Man
Bob Mitchell (KCO) vs. Lil Hott
Derek Kolbaba (OF) vs. Cold Shot
Tate Pollmeier (KCO) vs. Cherry Bomb
Chase Outlaw (OF) vs. Cast No Stones
Rafael Henrique dos Santos (KCO) vs. Bread Basket
Casey Roberts (OF) vs. Gangster Time
Dalton Kasel (KCO) vs. Black & Blue
Trevor Kastner (OF) vs. Magic Carpet

KANSAS CITY RIDER TO WATCH: Is Rafael Henrique dos Santos healthy? That will be an early-season question for the Outlaws as they are already dealing with multiple injuries (Kyler Oliver and Cole Melancon) and really can’t afford another. Santos, who went 0-for-6 at the World Finals, has been hindered by a torn left groin for nine-plus months now. The injury has prevented Santos from riding at his full potential consistently. There is no doubting Santos’s success riding bulls into his right riding hand; if healthy, he should be the Outlaws’ right-handed ace. Santos has a rematch against Bread Basket, who he previously rode for 91.25 points in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, if Santos is not healthy, General Manager Jim Smith and coach J.W. Hart may need to scour other teams’ practice squads or the free agent pool for further depth. Kansas City signed Koltin Hevalow off the Arizona Ridge Riders’ practice squad late Wednesday night.


OKLAHOMA RIDER TO WATCHChase Outlaw returns to Cheyenne, where he had the worst moment of his career, but a place that also brought him one of his most memorable comebacks. Outlaw won the 2019 Last Cowboy Standing event in Cheyenne one year after breaking 30 bones in his face in a gruesome wreck at the same location.

REMATCH OF THE GAMEEli Vastbinder will be the leadoff rider for the Freedom and take on Medicine Man. Vastbinder is a perfect 2-for-2 vs. Medicine Man for an average score of 90.13 points.

Arizona Ridge Riders (0-0) vs. Austin Gamblers (0-0)

Alisson de Souza (ARR) vs. Cold Chill
Conner Halverson (AG) vs. Dagger
Marco Eguchi (ARR) vs. Surprise Package
Lucas Divino (AG) vs. Alakazam
Eduardo Aparecido (ARR) vs. Back Jack
Austin Richardson (AG) vs. Hell Right
Sandro Batista (ARR) vs. Cool Whip
Ezekiel Mitchell (AG) vs. The Sauce
Luciano de Castro (ARR) vs. Bentley
Jose Vitor Leme (AG) vs. The Right Stuff

ARIZONA RIDER TO WATCH: 2018 World Finals event winner Marco Eguchi was one of the unsung heroes during the Monster Energy Team Challenge in 2020, riding through multiple injuries and pushing Team Pendleton Whisky to the championship game. Eguchi went 6-for-13 then, and was a member of the Global Cup champion Team Brazil in 2019. Arizona may have gotten a steal selecting Eguchi with the third-to-last selection of the 2022 PBR Team Series Draft, presented by ZipRecruiter.


AUSTIN RIDER TO WATCH: Conner Halverson is one of five left-handed riders on the Austin roster. Of course, Leme is the home-run hitter, but the team will need another rider to step up for left-handed deliveries among the likes of Halverson, Dakota LouisBlake Smith and Elijah Mora. Halverson appears to be getting the first crack from coach Michael Gaffney, and he will attempt to get the Gamblers on the board quickly in Cheyenne.

REMATCH OF THE GAME: Leme looks set up to hit a grand slam against The Right Stuff. The two-time PBR World Champion has ridden The Right Stuff four consecutive times, including a monstrous 95.5 points in a $10,000 challenge in Bismarck, North Dakota, last summer.


Arizona Ridge Riders vs. Carolina Cowboys
Nashville Stampede vs. Missouri Thunder
Ariat Texas Rattlers vs. Kansas City Outlaws
Austin Gamblers vs. Oklahoma Freedom

Article Courtesy of the PBR

Photo By: Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media

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