Date: July 14th, 2015

Hillsboro EIE Premiere’s People-Powered Tractor Pull

Submitted/written by Bob Potter, Hillsboro EIE Advisory Board Member

2015 WINNERS of the People Powered Tractor Pull:  the Hillsboro Boys pulling a 8150 lb tractor the length of our track in 22.72 seconds! 2nd place went to the Royall boys with a pull in 24.99 seconds.

2015 WINNERS of the People Powered Tractor Pull: the Hillsboro Boys pulling a 8150 lb tractor the length of our track in 22.72 seconds! Second place went to the Royall boys with a pull in 24.99 seconds.

The world premiere of the “Hillsboro People-Powered Tractor Pull” at the June 28th Lions Dairy Appreciation Breakfast was a hit. The contest, in which teams of ten individuals pulled tractors in a race against the clock, generated great excitement among participants and spectators.

The fundraiser for Hillsboro Excellence in Education was inspired by an event at Dulles International Airport (Washington, D.C.), in which participants paid to pull a Boeing 747 across the tarmac. “It was a natural leap from airliner to tractor,” according to Lion Bob Potter, “for we have more tractors than 747s around here.”

Zach Bender, of New Generation Ag Services, LLC, provided three tractors for the pull: a 1948 Farmall Cub; a 1966 Allis Chalmers; and a 1951 John Deere “R.” Kris Clark, also of New Generation Ag Services, LLC, an experienced announcer at conventional tractor pulls, provided a professional touch as emcee.

Each of the seven teams registered for the event weighed in as a group on Zach’s platform scale:

The “Averages Joe’s,” made up of Hillsboro High School athletes (G.W. 2,004 lbs.), was sponsored by Hillsboro Lions. Members included Kale Clausius, captain; Tom Crandell, Tyler Crandell, Nolan Hammer, Phillip Meyer, Hunter Stanek, Matt Stekel, Dylen Thew, Ethan Thorson, and Jacob Urban.

“Full Pullers-Butter Watch Out!” (G.W. 1,788 lbs.), was sponsored by Royal Bank. It was comprised of bankers and supporters: Natalie Adams, captain, Evan Adams, Brandy Ellsworth, Chad Ellsworth, Denny Herfel, Jessica Herfel, Luke Manke, Ashley Phillips, Dan Ravenscroft, and Ryan Witt.

“Moooove It or Lose It” (G.W. 2,162 lbs.), was sponsored by Farmers Bank and included Callie Revels, captain, Torger Bekkum, Chance Goss, Ben Jacobs, Brandon Jeffers, Dustin Munson, Griffin Newhin, Lance Oium, Tyghler Stout, and Dominic Vesbach.

A team of high school football players (G.W. 2,014 lbs.) from New Lisbon, sponsored by Mill Haven Foods, LLC, included Jim Stanek, captain, Stephon Burbach, Justin Giebel, Cade Haskey, Cole Haskey, Lucas Kleiflaw, Owen Lewis, and Kyle Woodard.

“Rooster’s Car Club” (G.W. 2,740 lbs.), sponsored by Sterba Insurance, was captained by Matt Nowak. Other team members included Tim Benish, Bobby Anderson, Tanner Dobbratz, Brock Haugh, Cody Nofsinger, Jason Oetzman, Jeremy Scheere, Nate Stowell, and Matthew Rueckheim.

“Old School” (G.W. 2,174 lbs.), sponsored by Dana Foods, comprised teachers from Hillsboro Schools, plus some supporters: Bob “460” Bothe, captain, Brock “The Axle” Borchardt, Bruce “The Anvil” Borchardt, Egan, J.P. “Johnnie Popper” DaPrato, Dan “John Deere” Green, Grant “Gearbox” Jefferies, Ed Levy, the Mlsna Girls, and Todd “Tow-Rope” Salisbury.

The Royall Football Team (G.W. 2,098 lbs.), sponsored by Royall Football, included Ryan Olson, captain, Seth Brown, Noah Friedle, Conner Gates, Sam Guilfoil, David Stark, Mason Thompson, Matt Preuss, Josh Volodiznski, and Austen Ziems.

All seven teams competed in the first round, pulling the 2,150 lb. Farmall Cub over the 100-foot track. Times ranged from seven to ten seconds for the first round. The four teams with lowest elapsed times moved on to round two, pulling the 5,200 lb. Allis Chalmers. Times for the second round ranged from 9.18 seconds to 11.32 seconds.

Two teams moved up to the final round: the “Average Joe’s,” of Hillsboro, and “Royall Football,” of Elroy. The adrenaline was palpable; spectators were on their feet cheering. The 8,150 lb. John Deere awaited, its massive engine chugging satanically, smoke belching from its hungry maw. The boys from Royall stepped up, took the ropes, and braced for the battle of their young lives—ten young men, full of life, versus four tons of inert steel. Kris Clark gave the countdown: three, two, one, GO, and the boys strained at the rope, overcoming inertia—the BEAST moved! The John Deere’s nose crossed the finish line 24.99 seconds later.

In the end, however, the “Average Joe’s” of Hillsboro High proved themselves to be above average—way above. They met and conquered the BEAST—and the competition—with a blazing time of 22.43 seconds. The crowd went wild! The Tigers roared. An awesome video of the final rounds appears on the Hillsboro Lions Facebook page.

A new tradition was born that day. The People-Powered Tractor Pull will never render The Hillsboro Charity Tractor Pull irrelevant—nothing can replace the ear-piercing thunder of mighty engines—but the seventy contestants and their sponsors can claim a small carbon footprint—and BIG hearts. Together, they raised $700 for the Hillsboro Excellence in Education Fund.