Students participate in Cleveland Community College’s welding competition

Cleveland Community College recently held its third annual high school welding competition.

Contestants from Crest High School dominated this year’s competition, winning all three top prizes.

Corey Dubesko of IMA and Curtis Rippy of Maco served as judges for the competition. This was Rippy’s third year as a judge.

“I think it’s a good thing to see these young people coming up in the welding industry because we need welders,” Rippy said.

Dubesko and Rippy evaluated the participants’ skills in GMAW and SMAW welding techniques. Each participant received instructions and access to supplies to complete the welding tasks. They had approximately two hours to complete the required welding.

Madison Lemons, a senior at Crest High School, was the overall winner.

“I really love welding and I hope to become a welder one day,” she said. Her prizes included a welding hood, TIG rig holder with harness, a cool box and various supplies.

Lemons’ Crest teammates Dillan Kirby and Caleb Barr took second and third place, respectively. Kirby was given a welding bag, welding hood, cooler and various supplies.

Barr received a grinder, welding hood, cooler and supplies.

The competition would not be possible without the help of the instructors at each of the high schools. Besides teaching and encouraging the students, they accompany them to this competition to cheer them on.

“This is a good competition because it gives the kids an opportunity to showcase their talents and skills and how they are preparing for the job market,” said Rick Greene, instructor at Shelby High School.

In addition to the overall winners, the judges selected a top competitor from each school to receive a $750 scholarship to attend CCC’s welding program.

Sergio Saurez was selected as Kings Mountain High School’s top competitor. He received a CCC Foundation Scholarship.

Lemons was Crest High School’s top competitor. She received the Michael David Scott Parsons Scholarship. Parsons was a student at Crest High School who planned to attend CCC’s welding program. After his untimely death, Parsons’ family and friends established this scholarship to honor his memory.

Eli Patterson was Shelby High School’s top competitor. He received the Gabe Dibruno Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was created after the untimely death of Dibruno, a sophomore at Shelby, who participated in this welding competition shortly before his death.

There were no competitors from Burns High School this year.