image
Palace Chrysler-Jeep

Auto students heading to state finals



Auto_Students
shadow
OHS seniors Conner Booth (left) and Nick Welch are headed to the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition. Photo by CJC. (click for larger version)
April 06, 2011 - It's happened almost every April for 25 years and this year is no exception.

Once again, Oxford High School will be sending two talented auto students to the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition to be held Wednesday, April 13 at the Macomb Community College Expo Center in Warren.

Seniors Conner Booth and Nick Welch were among the top 10 two-person teams from across Michigan who scored highest on the competition's written qualifying exam taken on-line back in February.

"It's everything to me," Booth said. "I studied hard for months and I made it. It's a great learning opportunity."

shadow
shadow
"I never thought I was going to make it," Welch said. "I'm glad I'll have an opportunity to represent Oxford High School and to get scholarship money."

"I had my eye on Conner, but Nick came out of nowhere," said OHS Auto Instructor Dan Balsley. "I was surprised and real pleased."

Booth and Welch will compete against teams from nine other schools at the state finals in a hands-on competition that will require each team to diagnose and repair identical electrical and mechanical defects (i.e. bugs) purposely placed in a 2012 Ford Mustang.

Repairs must be made with the highest quality workmanship in the lowest total time.

The team with the fewest demerits for workmanship and the best combined score for repair time and written exam will be declared the winner.

Unfortunately, the deck is stacked against Oxford in this year's competition given, unlike previous years, they never received a manual for the vehicle they'll be working on and they can't get a hold of a car to practice on because the 2012 Mustang isn't available at dealerships yet.

Add to that, Booth and Welch won't have much time to practice. They weren't informed they had qualified for the competition until a couple days before spring break, which means no school (or auto class) April 4-8.

But Balsley isn't letting any of this stop him from giving his students as much help as he can.

"I'm going to try to meet with the kids through spring break," he said. "It kind of changes all of our spring break plans."

After graduating OHS, Booth plans to attend Baker College to get his associate's degree as an automotive technician and a bachelor's degree in automotive business/management.

Welch was originally planning to study psychology at Oakland Community College and Wayne State University, but now he's rethinking things and looking into career options in the automotive field. him from giving his students as much help as he can.

"I'm going to try to meet with the kids through the spring break," he said. "It kind of changes all of our spring break plans."

After graduating OHS, Booth plans to attend Baker College to get his associate's degree as an automotive technician and a bachelor's degree in automotive business/management.

Welch was originally planning to study psychology at Oakland Community College and Wayne State University, but now he's rethinking things and looking into career options in the automotive field.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
print
Print
email
Email Link
share
Share
The Oxford Leader
SPI Subscriptions
Site Search