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Draining the Competition

Agriculture skills team advances to area with water system

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Draining the Competition

Agriculture skills team practice for the FFA Regional competition held yesterday with AG teacher Shannon Layman.

Agriculture skills team practice for the FFA Regional competition held yesterday with AG teacher Shannon Layman.

Addie Davenport

Agriculture skills team practice for the FFA Regional competition held yesterday with AG teacher Shannon Layman.

Addie Davenport

Addie Davenport

Agriculture skills team practice for the FFA Regional competition held yesterday with AG teacher Shannon Layman.

James Carroll / Judith Matehuala, Staff Writers

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A bitter, cold air blew outside Monday morning. Tools, wood and welded metal were scattered across the cream-colored, metal building. Upperclassmen Elyse Layman, Dawson Beavers, Sarah Peacock and Amber Cunningham gathered around a tool rack, mentally running through their presentation. Nerves and stress abound about their upcoming event, which most had never done prior to this semester. With two days left until the next round of competition, the pressure was on.

The four students placed first out of all the other agriculture skills teams in the district, and will compete in the Area competition today in Bells.  

“This year we have an amazing team,” AG teacher Shannon Layman said. “They work together flawlessly and they get along good, they have fun together, and they enjoy.”

The team used the same demonstration previous teams used in years past: building and describing a watering system powered by gravity. The quartet also learned a script to go along with the presentation.

“They have been working on it for about the past month,” Layman said. “Reviewing the script, kinda going over it, and then the last two weeks they have really been diligently trying to get it memorized and then taking the memorization and putting it to use.”

Last year, two team members quit last minute, causing Celina to not have a team in the event for the first time in 27 years.

“This year was different,” Layman said. “The difficulty is just trying to find the students who wanted to do it or participate. We found the ones who wanted to take it seriously enough and want to stay with it long enough to memorize a script and work together.”

Along with returning member Elyse, three new members were introduced to the agricultural skills team.

“It was really nerve-racking and kinda stressful because we didn’t know what we were heading into,” Cunningham said. “I know Sarah, Dawson and I hadn’t done it before, so we were all kinda nervous because we didn’t know what to expect.”

The team’s main obstacle was matching their lines in the correct place during the 20-minute tutorial.

“You have all the lines in your head and then you have to place where they go,” Elyse said. “If somebody else messes up, you have to kind of adapt your line so that it makes sense.”

Though they admit there have been struggles throughout, the team eventually came together to achieve something two years in the making, and more importantly, to have fun.

“In the beginning, they think it’s like ‘Aww man we have to do this again,’ and it’s because there’s so many things that can go wrong,” Layman said. “When they finally have that light come on like ‘Hey, we are having fun and we’re working together as a team and we can do this,’ that’s what it’s all about.” 

(Contributing writers Desiree Barrientez, Addie Davenport, Edoardo Gueirni, and Nyasha Hananda).

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