OAKHURST – Yosemite High School’s FFA welding team recently captured 2nd Place overall in a state competition involving teams from 14 other schools, pitting 4 Yosemite students against more than 75 other individuals from across California.
Hard work has paid off. 2013 Yosemite High students and FFA members, including seniors Ryan Ellis, Chaz Timms and Danny Loncor, and sophomore Jonathon Starnes, have been meeting at the welding shop since January developing their skills.Yosemite’s FFA welding instructor Jeff Kirby feels rewarded to have coached this particular group of young men, for reasons that carry beyond the win.
“They have proven that not only can this small mountain school compete against the largest agricultural schools in the state, we can beat them,” says Kirby. “Their ability to weld is only surpassed by their dedication to their craft. These boys should be very proud of their accomplishment.”
The students have been motivated enough to meet after school four days a weeks for the past four months, driven to become better than their competition, whomever it would be.
At each competitive level the students competed as individuals and as a team in four different welding application including arc, MIG, TIG, flux core, plasma cutting, oxyfuel welding and/or cutting.
According to their coach, students also had to prepare profession portfolios with a title page, letter of introduction, resume, and work samples. Other areas of competition were resume writing, a welding knowledge test, blue print reading and weld inspection.
Yosemite placed well in every category, competing at state finals with students and teams from schools including Clovis East, Madera South, Galt, Petaluma, Regetti/Santa Maria, and Paso Robles.
Team results from state finals were:
• 2nd place overall team
• 2nd place job readiness
• 3rd place written test
• 3rd place job portfolio
• 3rd place weld inspection
Jonathon Starnes – 3rd high individual
Chaz Timms – 5th high individual
Danny Longcor – 7th high individual
Ryan Ellis – 12th high individual
Kirby believes the team could not have performed successfully without the support of Kerry Patterson at Affordable Automatic Gates for “countless hours of donated time and resources to help the team prepare for each competition,” and is grateful for the donation of metal from Consolidated Metal in Fresno that gave the team to material to practice with.
Anyone with questions may contact Mr. Kirby