(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College hosted the Texas High School Welding Series on Thursday at the Industrial Technology Center on the Waco campus. It was the first time that the campus had hosted the welding event.
More than 200 students from more than 20 high schools from throughout Texas attended the daylong event. It included American Welding Society-backed welding certification events, along with contests in cutting and tool identification.
Hillsboro High School had 15 sophomores and seniors attend the event. Tyler Ketchum, an agricultural mechanics teacher, said students have attended three Welding Series events this year. He called the Welding Series the “Friday night football of welding.”
Ketchum said the events teach his students what they need to know about the welding field, along with how to develop a solid work ethic.
“These are the hardest-working kids in Texas, in my opinion,” he said.
Jeff Bohmann, a welding teacher at Cypress Park High School in the Houston area, took 19 students to the event. He said his students only compete in Texas High School Welding Series events. Bohmann said the goal for his students was to win scholarship money at the contest.
“Whatever the challenges are, we practice it,” he said.
TSTC awarded every senior participating in Thursday’s event a $500 scholarship that can be used at any of its 10 campuses. Two $11,000 scholarships will be awarded at a later date.
Some event winners were named on Thursday:
First place: Collin Chase, A&M Consolidated High School, College Station
Second place: Anthony James, Vista Ridge High School, Cedar Park
Third place: Candon Bruner, Jarrell High School, Jarrell
First place: Omar Valadez, James Earl Rudder High School, Bryan
Second place: Zachary Barington, Lohn High School, Lohn
Third place: Miguel Rodriguez-Navarro, Luling High School, Luling
Other contest winners will be announced at a future date.
This is the fourth year of the scholarship-based welding event.
“We have been wanting to have this in Waco since we started,” said Eric Pesak, executive director of the Texas High School Welding Series and a welding teacher at Columbus High School in Colorado County.
The Welding Series has also been held this year at TSTC’s Abilene and Fort Bend County campuses.
For more information on the Texas High School Welding Series, go to sites.google.com/view/txhsws/txhsws.
Registration for TSTC’s summer and fall semesters is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.