Their day started before the sun had found the welding shop at Whitehouse High School. Jay Northcutt and several of his students were loading up for an event they had looked forward to for a while. Five students and Northcutt made sure they had all of materials and tools they would need to complete in the sixth annual Barbeque Build Off, hosted by Sulphur Springs High School.
Here’s how it works. The team is selected on several different criteria – ability to perform the necessary skills such as stick welding, cutting torch operation, mechanical aptitude and be able to work continuously outside in the elements. This was the fourth year for WHS to participate.
The early start got them to Sulphur Springs High School ready to roll by 8 a.m. There is a lot to do by 2:15 p.m.
Northcutt said the students are given a pallet of mostly precut materials that are needed to build the pit. Each team has 15 minutes to talk with their advisor, look over the plans and discuss the process.
At 8:15 time starts and the four-man team has six hours to build the pit. After time is called all the pits are judged by a team of three judges.
“There were 12 teams competing and 11 teams completed the construction of their pits ours included,” Northcutt said. “We however did not place in top three and the judges said this contest was the best one in six years as for as quality of construction.”
Tyler Ramirez went along as the team’s cook. He fired up some beef and chicken fajitas and served it with guacamole and homemade salsa.
The pits are sold to individuals or donated to the Smith County Go Texan committee to be auctioned for scholarships.