October marked the return of the international rodeo competition for PEC’s lineworkers. We are proud to announce the outstanding results for Team PEC at the competition in Overland Park, KS, with journeyworker teams and individual apprentices bringing home some serious hardware in the cooperative’s best performance ever!
PEC won trophies for first place in the REA (cooperative) division and second place overall for the Canyon Lake journeyworker team of Darren Donhauser, David Hernandez, and Jason Dean. The Canyon Lake journeyworker team of Caleb Brodock, Garrit Afman, and Thomas Logan placed second in the REA division. The Kyle district journeyworker team of Charley Goines, Dustin Ortiz, and Jayce Johnson placed sixth in the REA division. And, PEC apprentices James Hunter, Trevor Jones, and Daniel Wilson took home the top three places in the REA division!
The rodeo is about more than just the spirit of competition; it sharpens the skills lineworkers use every day serving our members, and all training and events focus on safety. “We all care tremendously about what we do as a profession,” Brodock explained. “Everything we do, we want to do to the best of our ability.”
Hernandez explained that competing in the rodeo has helped him excel at his job, too. “In rodeo, you have to think outside of the box,” he said. “At work, when you’re up in the air, it gives you a more open mindset to find better, faster, safer ways to get things done for our members.”
Most of PEC’s journeyworker team members were participating for the first time since graduating from their apprenticeships. Apprentices compete individually, and journeyworkers do what they can to pass knowledge and encouragement on to the new guys. Because of the pandemic, the International Lineman’s Rodeo was the apprentices’ first competition outside of the cooperative.
Hunter and the other apprentices certainly made the most of their first opportunity on the big stage. “My fellow apprentices and I trained hard for international,” Hunter said. “To be able to go there and compete at the level I did was beyond me. It was an unforgettable experience and something I’ll have forever.”
“For them to show up to the big stage and perform as well as they did their first year out, that’s awesome,” Brodock said.
“The apprentices had a high bar to hit from our previous years,” Logan said. “It was really cool to pass the torch to them and see them succeed, see them take it seriously, work hard, and go out and perform and share that experience.”
That spirit of mentorship has helped PEC build a culture of success in a relatively short time. This year marked PEC’s tenth international competition, an event that has been held for 37 years now.
“Most of the teams that dominate there have dominated for years,” Afman said. “For PEC to start dominating the way we have in the past few years is huge. People are starting to recognize our name and say, oh wow, we saw you guys up here last year a bunch of times and now this year even more.”
“I went on a call a couple years ago after internationals, and a member actually recognized me,” Thomas said. “For some members, I think it allows them to trust us more in what we do every day, to say, oh, we do have a bunch of good guys here, and trust us to get them taken care of.”
Earlier this year, the cooperative held an internal rodeo to determine which journeyworker teams and individual apprentices would qualify for the International Lineman’s Rodeo. The 2021 showing was PEC’s best yet, and the tradition of success PEC has built has expectations rising every year. “We’re almost to the point where we’re in a competition with ourselves, and that’s how you have to look at it; how good can you do?” Logan explained. “We’re already talking about next year. The expectation level now is really high.”
See the full results below. We could not be prouder of our competitors!
- 1st Place Journeyman REA Division: Darren Donhauser, David Hernandez, and Jason Dean
- 2nd Place Journeyman Overall Best of the Best: Darren Donhauser, David Hernandez, and Jason Dean
- 2nd Place Journeyman Mystery Event #2, Replace Insulator: Darren Donhauser, David Hernandez, and Jason Dean
- 3rd Place Journeyman REA Division: Caleb Brodock, Garrit Afman, and Thomas Logan
- 5th Place Journeyman Pole Climb: Caleb Brodock, Garrit Afman, and Thomas Logan
- 5th Place Journeyman Mystery Event #1, Obstacle Course: Caleb Brodock, Garrit Afman, and Thomas Logan
- 6th Place Journeyman REA Division: Charley Goines, Dustin Ortiz, and Jayce Johnson
- 1st Place REA Division: James Hunter
- 2nd Place REA Division: Trevor Jones
- 3rd Place REA Division: Daniel Wilson
- 4th Place Apprentice Written Test: Trevor Jones
- 5th Place REA Division: Bradley Campos
- 5th Place Apprentice Written Test: James Hunter