LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin High School Senior made sparks fly at the Texas State Skills USA competition this past weekend. He was back at school today preparing to make things hot at the national competition.
Colton Hendrick says he had no idea he'd be the brightest light shining in a state wide competition when he started welding.
"No idea, it looked fun on the little roster for school and I just signed up for it,"said Hendrick.
He's been going to Mr. Pillows' class every day perfecting his craft for three years.
All the practice paid off at the Texas State Skills Competition in Corpus Christi. Hendrick says the competition was fierce.
"There were two running neck and neck, mine and one other kids," said Hendrick.
He came out on top winning first place with his scores in technical skills, a welding portion, and a mock job interview.
"Two gentlemen interviewed us as if we were at a job interview," said Hendrick.
He went to the competition last year and won fourth place. He says he's grateful for the interview portions because he's already improved.
"The job interview makes me feel like I'm more prepared to go in for a welding job," said Hendrick.
Hendrick will now duke it out at the national level. It's in Louisville, Kentucky and includes an impromptu speech and project.
"I put another plaque and another banner in the trophy cage," said Hendrick.
Hendrick will graduate this year. He says he plans pursue a career which these competitions prepare him for but until then, he says he enjoys coming to class and doing what he does best.
"Putting stuff together that doesn't come a part,"said Hendrick.
He's is the only student going to nationals, but several other Lufkin High School students placed in the engineering, technical drawing, and the fabrication technical test.