LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -
The Axe Women Loggers of Maine have been chopping wood and dropping jaws out at the Texas State Forest Festival this week, and have some local friendly competition coming up on Friday against our very own SFA Lumberjack logging team.
"We are an all-girl lumberjack show made up of past and present world champions," said Alissa Wetherbee the founder of the group. "We chop, we saw, we axe throw, we log roll, and we have a lot of fun."
The team comes from different professional backgrounds, and have traveled all across the country and even world either performing or competing. One member of the audience drove all the way from Fort Worth this week just to watch the performances Thursday and Friday.
"Everything we do is a head-to-head competition. We split the audience into teams, we split the girls up, and we just try to duke it out, and get the crowed having some fun," Wetherbee said.
Being in the land of the pines, and also Lumberjack nation with the SFA Lumberjacks just across the Angelina River, this prompted the SFA logging team to step up to the plate and challenge the women to a Lumberjack showdown.
"I compete on a college team right now, I love the college comradery, and I mean it's is so different than professionals so I am just really excited," said Alexis Halstead, the reigning Steel Collegiate Women's Champion from New York. She said this sport has given her a message she hopes to spread to others.
"You know what, I hope it gives empowerment to women that there's no limit to what you can do," Halstead said. "It's great for women to see that we can do whatever we want, because trust me, I have kicked a lot of guys butt in college."
She laughed, and said the friendly competition with the local college will be no different, but she hopes it will draw more attention to the sport and encourage others to give it a try.
The team is not only performing four to five times a day all summer long, but they have traveled all over the country competing, and said their performances gives them an advantage when it comes to competing.
"You know doing this all time we have an opportunity to throw the axe from so many different backgrounds, you know yelling babies, screaming cheers, and the heat in some parts of the world," Wetherbee said. "I definitely think it gives an advantage when we're competing with teams who aren't used to that."