Wildcat Barbecue Team? Hey, it could happen

Burnet High School FFA BBQ team

Lake Highlands High students have founded some pretty interesting extracurricular clubs and activities over the years, groups like the Lumberjack Club, the Alley Cats bowling club and Lake Cinematique for film buffs.

This time, though, they may be missing out.

Ennis High School created its first barbecue team last year, with students traveling to cook-offs around the state to compete against other schools. The team is led by Tommy Copeland, horticulture instructor at EHS, and assisted by other vocational teachers. The kids work together to build their own cooker, then use it to compete.

Copeland told KVUE-TV in Austin he decided to start the team when he stumbled across an annual state tournament in Burnet and found more than 100 schools competing. Students are judged on their beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken, beans, dessert, pit, t-shirt and school spirit – but their teacher is not allowed to help.

“When we tell people about it, they’re in disbelief at first,” Copeland told KVUE. “Then they say, ‘Wow, I wish that was around when I was in school—I would have been on that team.’”

If you’re willing to help the Wildcats start a barbecue team, I’m hereby volunteering myself as official judge. I’ve judged the Lake Highlands Junior High chili cook off with chili expert Ted Hume and LHHS head football coach Lonnie Jordan for two years running. I have lots of experience eating barbecue, and I’ll work for free. Oh, and get me a size medium judge’s t-shirt.

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