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March 20, 2007 7:19 AM CDT

Career Center Hosts Student Masonry Competition


Sam Ennis, Bradford's highest scorer, is a first-year masonry student at the career center.
Sam Ennis, Bradford's highest scorer, is a first-year masonry student at the career center.

The career center recently hosted a masonry competition among students from Bradford and three other vocational centers from Suwannee-Hamilton, Pedro Menendez High School of St. Augustine and Ridgeview High School of Orange Park.

The professionally judged competition consisted of laying six different patterns of brick and block work-the stretcher, header, shiner, soldier, rowlock and sailor.

In addition to the structural competition, students were required to take a written test on their acquired knowledge from the masonry program.

This year's first-place winning school was the Bradford-Union team. Team members Renee Cooper, Isaiah Wanton, Sam Ennis, Codey Rogers and Eric Benton were presented with the traveling trophy to be placed at their school as well as individual large trowels, gold-plated levels and supply bags.

Menendez High School placed second.

The overall competition was based on a 250-point scale system and the highest scoring individual in the overall competion was Bradford County High School ninth-grader Sam Ennis.
Sam, a first-year masonry student, scored a total of 229 points, with the second- and third-place individual high scorers being Bradford High School tenth-grader Codey Rogers and Union County High School senior Renee Cooper. These top scoring students were awarded with trophies, work hats and trowels.

Each school was sponsored by area concrete companies who donated matching team shirts and hats. The suppliers also donated several hundred dollars worth of masonry tools that were awarded to the contestants, the block, mortar and sand for the competition, and a catered lunch from Dukes Barbeque.

Corporate representatives who attended the event were Chip Sykes of Rinker Materials; Kelly Hester of Tarmac; Charles Bultman, Jim Skimming and Robbie Hailey of Cemex; Scott Perdue, DeWayne Stidham, Jack Elmore and Steve Meggs of Florida Rock Industries.

This year's judges were Corey Martin of Carlton Walker Masonry in St. Augustine, Bill Lauver, the state representative for apprenticeship, Steve Meggs of Florida Rock and Willie Dosier.

It isn't just the talent of laying brick or block that students are taught in masonry programs, but they also see instruction in the basics of linear geometry as they gain knowledge of building plans, specs and codes.

The career center masonry instructor, Mike Beville, has served as the masonry apprenticeship instructor for North East Florida since 2000. Prior to coming to Bradford County two years ago, he taught at Florida Community College in Jacksonville and at Pedro Menendez High School in St. Augustine.

Al Herndon with the Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation stated that the competition has outgrown the career center location, having barely enough room for 20 students, their families, judges and corporate sponsors. Herndon stated that beginning next year, the competitions will take place at Camp Blanding in one of their indoor hangers.

About the Author

Teresa Stone-Irwin is a journalist for the Bradford County Telegraph.

Bradford County Telegraph 2007


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