Parks & Recreation staff place third in regional maintenance rodeo

Temple Parks & Recreation scored a podium finish on its home turf as the department placed third in the 2020 Central Region Texas Recreation and Parks Society Maintenance Rodeo. Nov. 5 at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic & Convention Center. 

“Our team was excited to be selected to host the 2020 event,” Assistant Parks & Recreation Director Mike Hemker said. “Our team worked extremely hard to prepare for this event with only six weeks’ notice and did a phenomenal job.” 

Not only did Temple finish third overall, but city employees from three events qualified for the State Maintenance Rodeo, which will take place May 11 in Frisco. 

David Cobb and Kenneth Chapman took home first place in the irrigation assembly competition. Joe Mitchell finished second in the backpack blower contest and Lee Bullock placed third in plant identification. 

“Twelve cities participated in the annual maintenance rodeo, and everyone was excited to attend,” Hemker said. “In the end we are super proud of what our group did to pull off an event such as this within the profession. It showcased our team’s maintenance skills and our planning talent as well.” 

Mitchell said that while participation seemed to be down this year due to COVID-19, those who were in attendance brought their A-game. 

“The competition was stiff, but friendly,” Mitchell said. “Overall, it was an enjoyable day. I’m looking forward to the State Rodeo to see if I can win and bring some glory to the City of Temple.” 

The duo of Cobb and Chapman are former state champions in irrigation assembly, and they anticipate bringing home another trophy. 

“We’ve been to a few regional rodeos in the past, and we thought Temple did a wonderful job of hosting this year,” Cobb said. “We’re looking forward to the State Rodeo and another chance to win first place.” 

Temple Parks & Recreation is slated to host the regional competition again in 2021.