Dylan Burress won the state cabinetmaking title Friday at the Colorado Skills USA competition in Colorado Springs, proving that state championships at Bayfield High School aren't just for the football, boys basketball and dance teams.
He and other competitors for Bayfield in Skills USA attended an orientation on Wednesday afternoon, then he started his cabinetmaking project Thursday morning, finishing the tabletop lectern in about six hours.
The students are given plans and just enough materials to complete this project, he explained, so there's no margin for error.
Looking at the other competitors' projects, he thought he had probably won the contest. The contest results were announced Friday in categories ranging from welding to masonry to cosmetology. BHS students competed this year in architectural drafting, technical drafting, carpentry, video game design and digital cinema production.
This is the senior's fourth year of woodworking at BHS, and he is an aide for this year's first-year woodworking class.
His other projects this year have included cigar boxes and a winerack.
"It's really cool to see it go from a pile of wood and turn it into something usable," Burress said of cabinetmaking, adding that he finds it fun and relaxing.
Burress, who plans to become a plumber, is gifted at building things, said Curtis Gillespie, his industrial arts teacher at BHS.
"It doesn't matter what he's doing, he can do it," Gillespie said. "He's good at everything. Just a talented young man."
Burress will be one of 40-something cabinetmaking competitors at the Skills USA national competition June 25-29 in Nashville, Tenn. The top finishers get to bring home the tools they use in the competition, and Gillespie said Burress has a good shot of placing in the finals.
This year's BHS Quiz Bowl team of Kody Hoffman, Zach McSweeney, Claire Hufnagel, Chad Winkler and Bella Shoup took second at state.