By JESSIE HORTON
STEPHENVILLE (January 14, 2015) — Four members of the Stephenville High School FFA meats judging team made the trip to Denver January 9 – January 12 to compete against other teams from across the nation in the National Western FFA Meats Judging Contest and secure the ‘City of Champions’ title. They returned with the Reserve Championship trophy and several more honors.
“These kids did a great job representing the State of Texas, our school and the community,” said Stephenville HS FFA sponsor Laurah Williams. “They brought home the Reserve Champion, and were pretty heartbroken not to bring home a National Championship title. But not many kids can say they’ve competed on that level, so if you see any of them, give them a pat on the back because they did great.”
Williams said the team took second place while representing Texas and SHS. And as individuals, they continued to achieve. Conner McKinzie was the number one high individual in the nation in meat judging. His first place finish earned him a $1,250 scholarship to the university or college of his choice. Patrick Delaney earned sixth high individual, Rachel Evenson was 11th high individual and Bryce Cline was 24th high individual.
Cline did an exceptional job for the team, Williams said.
“Our situation with our team that advanced to this level was unique. They qualified last year – so Kenna Faulkenberry, who was a senior on the team last year, was unable to judge with us (she is judging on the collegiate level),” she said of the team. “Jordan Carter, who is a freshman this year and will judge on the team, was too young to judge with us by two months (per NWSS rules). So we had to pick up a fourth member in Bryce Cline who has never judged meats before. I am very proud of Bryce. Not many kids can say their first contest ever was a national contest and they received an award.”