Texas high schoolers compete in varsity barbecue

Leave it to Texas to have high school varsity teams dedicated to barbecuing.

Here's a story about how some students at a high school in northern Texas are learning to compete with meat. WFAA reports:

Horticulture teacher Tommy Copeland helped start his team at [Ennis High School] after discovering an annual state tournament in Burnet where over 100 schools compete…

At Ennis High, the barbecue team is like a Texas hybrid of metal shop and home economics. The students fabricate and weld their own cooker together then use it to compete.

Copeland and other vocational teachers assist the students in learning how to be pitmasters. Teachers or instructors aren't allowed to help students during cook-offs, and they're judged on best beef brisket, pork ribs, ½ chicken, best beans, dessert, best pit, most school spirit, and best t-shirt.

…he only requirements to be on the barbecue team? Maintain a passing average and be a senior.

However—that doesn't stop Copeland from mentoring aspiring juniors who have interest in the team like Marshall Sladecek.

Before Ennis' home football game against Corsicana, he and some other juniors got some 'ribs practice' outside the stadium. "We all barbecue, why not take it to the competition level?" Sladecek said. "Every guy needs to know how to do it."

…"When these boys leave here, they are kings of their grills," Copeland said.