After claiming the first-place trophy at District 9 competition, the Wilmington High School Ag Power Diagnostics Team of Nick Battrell and Matt Keiter recently battled at the State Ag Power Diagnostics CDE at UNOH.
Consisting of stations similar to the District 9 contest held at JD Equipment, the team successfully took third place at the career development event.
“I am particularly proud of these two guys, especially because they beat out several teams who attend career centers or vocational schools, and not a comprehensive high school like Wilmington,” said Advisor Doug Rinehart. “They don’t have the opportunity to work in a mechanics principles classroom or lab every day like some of the teams that represent the state. The two teams that finished ahead of them, in fact, attend career centers and study the mechanical issues every day. Third place is great!”
Rinehart, Battrell, Keiter and alternate Austin West had the opportunity to attend a banquet sponsored by UNOH, the night before for all the participants.
“We enjoyed the evening, but we were constantly thinking about the day ahead,” said Matt Keiter, who was experiencing the contest for the first time. Battrell and Dustin Young placed eighth in the state at last year’s contest, and consequently put pressure on the team to raise the bar.
“It was really fun, a great learning experience, but we did stress some to finish higher,” Battrell said. “Actually we were more stressed at Districts because we wanted that first-place honor and not to worry about having to make state as an at-large team. Mr. Rinehart and my dad were more stressed than we were!”
“My dad” is Andy Battrell, who worked hours coaching the team, and we thank him for all his advice and help.
“He kept texting Mr. Rinehart at both districts and state to see if he had received the scores yet,” Keiter added.
As third-place winners, Battrell and Keiter also received $5,000 scholarships to UNOH, if they so choose to enroll upon high school graduation. As a result of their eighth-place last year, Battrell, as well as Young, each have an additional $2,000 scholarship in the bank.
West is making a campus visit on Saturday, as a junior, and taking a test to hopefully place him in line for scholarship money, as well. Next fall he will be eligible to test for a $20,000 award. Young intends to compete with Battrell on the team, as seniors, next year, saying, “We want first place in the state!”
Once again, Wilmington FFA thanks all the individuals and companies who helped the team achieve their success. Rinehart reiterated that JD Equipment, Bane-Welker Equipment, Croghan Auto Care, Mayer Agri-Equipment, Snyder Farms, and Vandervort Farms, Bobcat Enterprises in Mt. Orab, and Roberts Trucking were so generous with their donation of time and equipment that was so beneficial in our success.
Team excels at judging
The Wilmington FFA chapter has worked extremely hard practicing for judging competitions this year.
“These CDE’s are an important part of their FFA career that teaches how to cooperate and work as a team,” said General Livestock team member Matt Younker. This work has paid dividends in various high placings for both teams and individuals.
Among top 10 finishes, the FFA Dairy team was awarded the top honor at the Wilmington College Aggies Contest. Individuals who paced them to first place were Sarah Quallen, third place, and Rachael Billups, an eighth place finish out of 85 participants. The team also was ranked third at Mt. Gilead, fifth at Marysville and third at the Miami Trace Invitational, which also determines District 9 placings. Quallen also placed ninth at Mt. Gilead and Miami Trace, while Samuel Osborn took ninth at Mt. Gilead, and Drew Moyer 10th at Marysville.
The General Livestock team came home from the Wilmington College Aggies contest with a sixth-place finish with more than 60 teams competing. And 773 individuals competed at Springfield with Brady Bergefurd, Andrew Davis and Jay Schneder receiving the top team scores for WHS. At Miami Trace, Davis placed fourth overall, and will be awarded second place for District 9.
The young Poultry team is “doing themselves proud” in preparing for all their contests, states FFA advisor Doug Rinehart.
“They are working exceptionally hard, and wanting to improve in each contest,” he said.
That was evident at the latest contest at Miami Trace, where the team placed second in District 9, and fourth overall.
“I’m really proud of this team and special mention must go to Mitchell Thatcher, a freshman, who placed second overall, and will be awarded first place in District 9,” said Rinehart.
Sydney Shumaker and Hailey Fugate had the other top team scores to count for the district award for the WHS team. The Poultry team also placed 10th at Mt. Gilead and 12th at Marysville.
The Milk Quality and Products team is also faring well at contests. They were eighth of 32 teams at Marysville, and fourth in District 9 (seventh overall) at Miami Trace. Sidney Walker led the way with a 13th-place finish.
The Agronomy team took fourth place at Mt. Gilead, eighth place at the Wilmington College Aggies Contest, and sixth place (fourth District 9) at the Miami Trace Invitational.
The Equine Management has only had a team compete at one contest and received a 10th place at Mt. Gilead. Since the CDE is not offered at some contests, the Nature and Wildlife Management and Nature Interpretation individuals have only competed in two contests.
Plans to attend the Mercer County Invitational were changed due to high interest of members wanting to be a part of history when the WHS Boys Basketball team plays at the “Schott.” Some FFA members are honored to be playing in the pep band.
We wish all the FFA participants best of luck as they finish out the year by competing at the Ohio FFA Spring CDE’s at Ohio Expo Center April 2 during Wilmington High School Spring Recess. And Cane Ag says “GO CANES!”