To the editor:
You won't see or hear about this team on the gridiron and you won't see the best competitor on the front page of the sports section.
I would like to take a moment to let you know about another team in the valley that deserves the same kind of recognition mentioned above. On Oct. 13, the Edison FFA Forestry Team competed in Nelsonville at the State FFA Forestry Competition. After a few years of being just outside of the top five, Edison came in first place. Matt Stevens, a senior, had the best score in the state. Blaine Cline and Conrad Shafer were fourth and fifth, respectively, with Clifford Glenn 26th and Taylor Tinney 71st.
These boys took time on weekends and after school to study, yes, I said study, for the competition. The contest is comprised of a written test as well as various practicums such as compass reading, determining board feet, tree identification and disease, as well as other items that a forester would need to do his or her job. When it was discovered that the team won the state competition, there was no question that they would go on to compete at the national level in Indianapolis, just two weeks later. Among all their other activities such as part-time jobs, homework, marching band and practicing for the high school musical, these boys continued to prepare for the national contest. In the meantime, they approached businesses in the community, asking for their support in going to the competition in Indianapolis. They were graciously given donations from the following: Kuester Implement, Denoon Lumber, Jefferson County Farm Bureau, Sportsman's Trading Post, Two Ridge Veterinary Hospital, Harold LeMasters, Stimmel Construction, Buckeye Mechanical and SPM Fleet. A heartfelt thanks goes out to these businesses and neighbors for helping out the team.
It should also be noted that a member of the community showed support by placing signs of encouragement on posts heading out of Richmond. It made the boys feel proud and that their hometown was behind them because someone made the effort to show their support.
So, how did they do at the national competition on Oct. 25? They finished an impressive 11th place in the nation, earning a gold rating. If you see these young men, please congratulate them. If you frequent the businesses that helped sponsor the team, please let them know what a great thing they did by supporting local youth.
Amie R. Cline