Bangs ag mechanics team will compete in nationals after state win

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
From left, Bangs High School ag mechanics team members Logan Bishop, Jackson Light, Keygan Pitts and Robert Blakeley are pictured as Sam Houston State University the day before the state competition.

BANGS — The night before the April 30 state competition, a Briggs and Stratton small-engine manual was among reading material for Bangs High School’s four students on the FFA ag mechanics team,

Sequestered in a hotel, team members Keygan Pitts, a sophomore, and juniors Jackson Light, Robert Blakeley and Logan Bishop stayed up late reviewing manuals on small engines, boom sprayers and DC electrical wiring.

The night of studying capped off months of earlier preparation, and the Bangs team went on to win the ag mechanics state championship competition at Sam Houston State University. The Bangs team was one of 31 competing.

The first-place finish qualifies Bangs team to compete in the national competition in Indianapolis, Indiana this fall.

In 2019, a Bangs ag mechanics team consisting of another set of students also won the state championship and went on to finish fourth in the national competition.

“All that work — you don’t want it to go for nothing,” Bishop said of the 2021 state championship.

Out of 121 individuals, Bishop finished the contest as the High Point Individual. Pitts was third, Light was fourth and Robert Blakeley was fifth.

The team worked together to solve “complex, multi-system agricultural problems,” ag teacher Caleb Gamblin said.

A problem scenario was presented to the team, and the students used materials and equipment to prepare a written solution.

Team members organized themselves, assigned duties and completed tasks together or separately.

Students rebuilt a small engine, calibrated a boom sprayer and completed math problems related to sprayers, DC electrical and engines. The Bangs team scored 90 out of 120 points.

Team members completed a 100-question exam. Bishop credited Gamblin with getting the team ready.

Gamblin said he’s proud of the team, noting the students put in “a lot of hard work.”