Annual welding competition showcases students

Welding students from two Blount County schools showcased their talents in three different welding processes during an annual competition late last semester.

The event on Dec. 14 featured students from William Blount and Heritage high schools. The second annual event was held at William Blount High School and Heritage won first, second and third place in tungsten inert gas welding. They also finished first and second in metal inert gas welding. While William Blount took first, second and third in stick welding, they lost the overall competition.

Judges gauged students’ abilities in four different categories: stick welding, MIG welding, TIG welding and plasma arch welding.

Heritage High School welding teacher John Davis III said students enjoyed the experience.” It was a really, really good competition,” he said.

Davis said he is looking forward to hosting the event at Heritage next year. “We’re going to continue to grow and hopefully host more schools.”

Davis thanked sponsors like Miller, AirGas, ESEB and Lincoln. Some students got Miller Elite welding helmets valued at $300 to $400. “They all donated supplies and equipment for the students. We received a MIG welder and each student got something,” he said.

“It was a real positive experience.”

William Blount High School welding instructor Bruce Suddarth said he was looking forward to next year’s competition. “It was a great competition mainly because it involved all the students whereas if you know anything about the skills competition, normally the teacher is only limited to sending one or two,” he said. “This competition included everyone. The students felt like it was a good thing not necessarily the best students got to compete but because all of them did.”

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