HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - High school students will have a chance to showcase their welding skills in Lufkin Friday, December 7. Angelina College will be hosting its sixth welding competition, during which students will be judged on their ability to cut, weld, and fabricate metal.
Robbie Hughes, Zack Nerren, Andrew Arnold, and Eli Box are competing in the welding competition for high school students. Huntington High School Ag mechanics teacher Wade Gartman says that their previous experience in welding competitions has prepared them for success in tomorrow’s contest.
“They’re going to be welding and cutting, and these four boys last year took several projects to the major stock shows, and we had the grand champion project in Houston, San Antonio, and the champion project at the state fair of Texas,” Gartman said.
For these students, they aren’t just preparing for a competition. They’re preparing for their careers. Box says that taking dual-credit welding classes is the beginning of owning his own fabricating business.
“Once I graduate, I’d like to go to Angelina College and finish up my basics, and get my basic welder’s certificate, and then transfer to A&M and get a degree in industrial distribution,” Box said.
“He’s going to be further ahead of his peers because he has hands-on knowledge of how to put something together,” Gartman said.
As for Eli’s classmates, they plan to put their welding skills to use manufacturing oil pipelines.
“Learning how to weld in here will prepare them to work on the pipeline and be successful,” Gartman said
When they’re not working with metal in the shop, Arnold, Box, and Hughes also play in a rock band called Loose Gravel. They say that they can play metal almost as well as they can weld it.