Two Waxahachie FFA teams competed in the Leadership Development Events Contests at Sam Houston State University on Friday and came away with encouraging results to build upon for next year.

Both the senior chapter conducting team and greenhand skills team qualified for the state semifinals after they placed within the top two in the area contest in mid-November.

To advance to the Saturday state finals, a team needed to place in the top five of their respective heat.

After the greenhand skills team concluded their demonstration on how to fuse polyethylene pipe, they placed seventh in the second of two heats Friday, Nov. 30 in Huntsville. The group of freshmen was comprised of Bryce Martin, Cade Sims and Cheyan Underwood.

WHS teacher and FFA advisor Brooks Humphrey oversaw the greenhand skills team and expressed that he is proud of their effort to get to the state competition.

"They have really developed their skills and been able to work out as a team, and put forth the effort to get to state and that is a very difficult challenge in itself," Humphrey said.

The senior chapter conducting team placed 11th in the second of two heats. The upperclassmen team members included Brooke Trull, Meredith Fay, Corinne Auvenshine, Baylie Paris, Kayla Stockman Landon Jones, Thomas Carlile, Alex Mendez and Tyler Buchanan.

"They are amazing students that realize that we are going to face teams that may or may not be more talented than ours,” said Jeanette Middleton, WHS agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. “In the end, they also know that there isn’t another team that will work harder at achieving their goals."

WHS students competed against 5,100 entries within the statewide-competition in 13 different events — with most including a senior and greenhand (freshman) level.

The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association with a membership of more than 123,000 active members. FFA programs teach skills in leadership, career development and personal growth. Students are provided the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real-world experiences through local, state and national competitions.

Sam Houston State University has partnered with Texas FFA to host these competitions for more than 80 years.

For more information about the Waxahachie FFA events, contact Middleton, Humphrey or James Glenn at the WHS Agriculture Department at 972-923-4614.