SkillsUSA competitors ready to take stab at state tournament

More than 50 students from Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Center are to compete in the 61st SkillsUSA Ohio Championships Tuesday in Columbus.

This year’s championship is to feature 78 competitive skills and leadership events with roughly 100 Ohio schools competing for a national title in June in Kansas City.

Junior Tyler Lewis from Columbian High School will be one of many students from Sentinel competing. He is participating in the carpentry program at Sentinel. During regionals, he placed first and since has been practicing for state.

The competition will test his skills on carpentry, finishing, trimming and framing.

“(During regionals) I learned the importance of speed and accuracy,” Lewis said.

He first got involved with building when he helped his father build a shed.

Through this competition, Lewis said, he has learned new things and he keeps getting better. He hopes to take on an apprenticeship during college.

The teamworks team made of seniors Salvador Cantero, Austin Kelbley, Jacob Serviss and Jacob Welly also placed first at regionals. They have been practicing by using past blueprints.

“We have been using techniques and are becoming better and faster,” Cantero said. “It is nerve wracking because we don’t know what to expect.”

The skills the team must use are in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and masonry. The competition will resemble a real work day, Serviss said.

The team has become closer, Kelbley said, adding: “It is about trusting and understanding of each other’s trades and helping each other out.”

Cantero is from Fostoria, Kelbley is from Mohawk, Serviss is from Seneca East and Welly is from New Riegel.

“We all have differences but we are still able to work together. It has been a good experience (so far), and we just want the knowledge to be good enough to win.”