The Lubbock-Cooper FFA junior skills team will be representing their area in Huntsville at the state competition this month. The team is comprised of four freshmen high school students; Kenley Frazier, Holden Heinrich, Carter Barnhill, and Colton Bourquin. This team had just the spark they needed to win area and advance to state, all by demonstrating some very useful electrical skills.
"Well I've learned how to wire a duplex outlet, a switch, and a keyless lamp receptacle," Frazier said. "Mr. Pate, our ag teacher, he pretty much taught us how to do all of this."
"We placed first at area," Heinrich said. "It was at Canyon and there were 12 teams."
Each member of the team explained a different step in the wiring process while the other members acted out the demonstration.
"We practice every morning from 7:30-8:00 a.m. and then we practice in class usually," Bourquin said. "We all had to learn our parts and be able to speak well and clearly and loud. I think it will help everyone in the future be able to give speeches at work or anywhere."
And they are setting their goals high for the state competition. But no matter how they end up overall, the entire team hopes to compete again on their FFA skills team over the next three years.
"There are ten areas and two teams from each area qualify, so there are 20 teams at state," Barnhill said. "We would like to make it passed the semifinals and end up winning it all."
Most importantly, the team will come away with some practical skills to use for the future, as well as friendships that will last a lifetime.
"It could be very useful, it could save you money in the future. You could have a short in your circuit or your breaker could blow and knowing these wiring skills could help you so you wouldn't have to call an electrician," Barnhill said.
"We all work together, we're real good friends," Bourquin said. "You know, sometimes some people don't always want to do it one day, but we all encourage each other."
So how many FFA students does it take to change a light bulb? Well, four in this case. But working as a team earned them an area title and a trip to state.