Senior grand champion, metal works

The Grandview FFA team of Keaton Martin, Ethan Campbell and Coby Henslee, all seniors, won senior grand champion in the metal works division. The students constructed a 45-foot red gooseneck trailer.

Students from five Johnson County schools took home champion and or reserve ribbons during Wednesday’s ag mechanics show at the Johnson County Junior Livestock Show and Youth Fair.

FFA students from Alvarado, Cleburne, Godley, Grandview and Joshua placed first or second in the senior and junior divisions.

The competition attracted 40 entrants, which translates into about 65 students given that some students constructed their projects solo while others were group efforts.

The variety and craftsmanship of the projects, some of which were displayed inside while several of the larger ones were parked outside, elicited admiration and compliments aplenty from attendees including Johnson County Commissioner Larry Woolley who stopped by to check out the students’ handiwork.

“Some of the things these kids come up with are just intricate and unbelievable in the quality and attention to detail,” Woolley said. “I just continue to be amazed every year.”

Metal & Wood Superintendent Bryan Kruse and Assistant Superintendent Stacy Singleton, both now in their seventh year of hosting the show, agreed.

“You know, every year I’m so impressed because I see all these great projects and I always think, ‘It’s going to be hard for the next group to top this next year.’” Kruse said. “But they always do and this year’s entries are no exception. It’s not only the craftsmanship that impresses me but also the kid’s abilities just to dream up and conceptualize these projects and then work to make them into reality.”

Jason Whitney, a Clifton ISD ag teacher, and Ronny Liardon, a former Kopperl ISD ag teacher and current Bosque County Commissioner, once again served as judges.

One by one, Whitney and Liardon interviewed the participating students. Both judges examined the project in question while the student explained his or her thought process in developing the idea and carrying it through to fruition.

Once the interviews concluded the judging portion of the program began, a process that took some time given the wealth of quality entries.

Students, parents and the simply interested filled the bleachers fronting the indoor display area as the results were announced by Ambassador runner-up Brigg Hawkins of Grandview High School and Queen runner-up Anna Carlock of Joshua High School.

The Grandview FFA team of Keaton Martin, Ethan Campbell and Coby Henslee, all seniors, won senior grand champion in the metal works division. The students constructed a 45-foot red gooseneck trailer.

“You look at that and it looks like something that came from a dealership,” Kruse said after the competition. “Everything from the welding to the paint job is just phenomenal.”

Cleburne FFA’s Zane El-Jabsheh won senior metal reserve for his octagon fire pit with wok.

The Senior Wood Grand Champion honors went to Alvarado FFA’s Brendan Patterson. Patterson constructed a workbench with hidden motorized compartment for tool storage.

Merrick Irvin, Godley FFA member, won senior wood reserve for his combination of coffee tables and antler chandeliers.

Two awards, grand champion and reserve, were given in the junior division.

Grandview FFA eighth-grader Bryson Edrington constructed an A-frame metal porch swing for which he earned junior grand champion.

Cooper Bosher, a Joshua FFA member, secured junior reserve champion.

“He called his project a chicken tractor,” Kruse said. “It’s basically a chicken pen on wheels.”

Following the competition, Edrington’s parents snapped pictures of him sitting on his porch swing while displaying his awards.

The project, Edrington’s father, Doug Edrington said, took his son about three weeks to complete.

“We’re proud certainly,” Doug Edrington said. “It’s a great swing. But more than that for what he learned from seeing this through, the hard work and dedication he had to put into this.”

Projects showcase variety and creativity

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