TULIA, TX (KFDA) - Over 100 Panhandle high school students shared their craftsmanship at a Top of Texas competition in Tulia on Friday, April 28.
For the first time, a Top of Texas competition was held at Tulia high school where students from Canyon, Hereford, Highland Park, Kress and Randall high schools were able to display their work that took months to craft.
The categories at this event revolved around woodwork, welding and automotive skills.
"The kids really don't realize how big of an industry it is until they get into our classes and we take them to contests," said Stephen Hernandez, Tulia Welding Instructor. "The students get to see how big it is, and it's something to take with them when they get out of high school. Unfortunately, college isn't for everyone, but this is a trade. Students can take this, and it will take them places they have never been."
Hernandez says this competition gave rural students a day to be proud of their work as some schools may not always be able to travel to state level contests.
"There's a ton of stuff here, and that's something I couldn't even imagine could be brought here," said Tawnee Flowers, Tulia High School Senior. "It just shows how much creativity there is among us kids."
Flowers and Justin Brown are Tulia students who competed and both tried their hand at welding and built award winner projects.
Flowers spent 100 hours building a mobile smoker and grill. Brown worked to construct a multiple purpose trailer for an area farmer, and both students agree contests like this can open new opportunities.
"It will kind of give you different options if you're looking for different careers," said Brown, Tulia High School Senior. "You can get certified in welding, you can do all kinds of stuff in automotive and it can just widen your range of career options after graduation."