Being a lineworker is more than just a job. It’s becoming a part of a family. And while the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo is a chance for these men and women to show off their skills, it also provides an opportunity to meet those serving Texans in other communities.
“Linework is a brotherhood, and you form bonds with journeymen from other utilities,” said Canyon Lake Regional Operations Supervisor David Hernandez, who has been part of the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo in various ways since 2000. “Just building that relationship, calling each other, asking for ideas and opinions, and just getting to hang out. We get to meet and see lineworkers from all over the state, so it’s great to spend time with them that weekend.”
Not only does this competition strengthen the statewide family, but it also helps to improve the communication between our crews at PEC.
“Being out here, you have to talk about what you’re going to do next, say it out loud, and communicate with your partner,” said Matt Romero, a lineworker apprentice in Canyon Lake.
But while the teambuilding aspect is essential, each crew still aims to take home hardware and move on to Kansas at the end of the day.
“You’re always chasing that buckle,” Hernandez said. “That’s what motivates us. Winning, representing the co-op, and making sure that we stay on top is our biggest thing.”
After PEC Texas teams are selected, much work must be done defend titles at the state competition. In the months leading up to July 13-15, the journeyworkers are instilling the importance of rodeo practices into the young apprentices who are just starting to hone their craft.
“To me, it’s just carrying on our tradition,” Hernandez said. “Rodeo has always been a big part of my career, and I feel like it’s made me a better lineman. It’s a good thing for the younger lineworkers to understand and grow in this field.”
Going into his third state competition, Romero has begun to understand this importance.
“It makes you better at performing different types of work and in working with what you got, and it makes you faster,” Romero said.
Lineworkers train to get faster at various tasks, including hurtman rescue, pole climb, and more, and they do it in the intense summer heat. While challenging, it does provide an extra edge when it comes to the international competition in Kansas. It also serves as a motivation to be faster.
“When we get started, we get through it,” Hernandez said. “Knock them out; take short breaks. The faster you get done, the sooner you get out of the heat, and the better off you are.”
Meet your rodeo team
Before the competition takes place, you can get familiar with the names of the lineworkers who will be representing PEC below:
- Chayton Boyd, Cedar Park
- Justin Carbajal, Cedar Park
- Zackery Gough, Canyon Lake
- Colton Harris, Cedar Park
- Matt Mabry, Cedar Park
- Zachary McFee, Canyon Lake
- Blaine Preuit, Liberty Hill
- Matt Romero, Canyon Lake
- Quentin Schulze, Junction
- Daniel Wilson, Cedar Park
- Canyon Lake: Jason Dean (Junction), Darren Donhuaer, David Hernandez
- Canyon Lake: Garrit Afman, Caleb Brodock, Thomas Logan
- Marble Falls: Justin Ferry, Tyler Horn, Marshall Verette
- Kyle: Charley Goines, Jayce Johnson, Auston Shipley
- Kyle: Craig Hernandez, Cooper Johnson, Jared Schmitt
You can learn more about the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo and schedule of events by visiting their site.