Black Hawk College East Campus Livestock Judging Team recently took top honors in the junior college division at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest in Houston, Texas.

"As a first year coach I truly feel I learned as much or more from the students and (Dan) Hoge as they did from me. This year was an exciting way to start off. I am proud of the individuals for coming together as a team; they worked hard and deserved everything. It was a good group of individuals and more importantly a great group of students. The support we have received from the college and alumni is what truly makes our program what it is."

The above comments came from assistant coach Jared Boyert, an alumus himself, after Black Hawk College East Campus Livestock Judging Team recently took top honors in the junior college division at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest in Houston, Texas.

The six-member team, competing against 20 other junior college teams, came home High Team winning by 8 total points. BHC earned the High Team Overall honor after placing 1st Cattle, 1st Placing, 1st Goats, 1st Sheep/Goats, 4th Reasons and 5th Swine.

In Overall Individual Rankings, BHC had two students place in the top 10 rankings and all six place in the top 26 rankings out of 116 participants.
· Nick Fitzsimmons of Vail, Iowa – 1st Overall, 1st Goats, 1st Sheep/Goats, 3rd Placing, 5th Reasons, 5th Swine, 16th Cattle,
· Jake Bloomberg of Berwick, Ill. – 4th Overall, 3rd Cattle, 4th Reasons, 12th Swine, 14th Sheep/Goats, 18th Placing, 35th Goats
· Breanna Lawyer of Shirley, Ind. – 11th Overall, 4th Cattle, 11th Swine, 13th Reasons, 23rd Placing,
· Logan Rinehold of Auburn, Ind. – 19th Overall, 8th Placing, 10th Sheep/Goats, 11th Goats, 12th Cattle, 30th Reasons,
· Will Coor of Selma, N.C. – 25th Overall, 2nd Placing, 3rd Sheep/Goats, 23rd Goats,
· Austin Webber of Avilla, Ind. – 26th Overall, 14th Goats, 24th Placing, 25th Sheep/Goats, 26th Cattle, 35th Reasons

Judging as alternates for BHC
· Amber Shipe of Waterloo, Ind. – 1st Overall
· Max Look of Mapleton, Ill. – 3rd Overall
· Isaak Mersch of Twelve Mile, Ind. – 24th Overall
· Jake Sloan of Quincy, Mich. – 26th Overall
· Sarah DeSchepper of Altona, Ill. – 42nd Overall

This year, the East Campus was also proud of the fact that three members of the livestock team; Jake Bloomberg, Breanna Lawyer and Logan Rinehold, qualified as All Americans. These students were chosen by the National Junior College Coaches Association as being in the top 15 individually at the national level based on academics and national judging achievements. "I am extremely proud to say that I am part of the BHE livestock judging program. I'll be forever grateful for the opportunities that Dan and Jared have provided me. It's an honor to be acknowledged for not only my judging accomplishments, but also for the work put into my education," said Rinehold.

Breanna Lawyer reflecting on her past two years at Black Hawk College said, "Being a member of the BHE livestock judging team has not only given me the opportunity to meet prominent leaders in the livestock industry, but most importantly, be a part of a supportive team that represented the school in the upmost of ways the past year."

Shortly after the Houston win, team member Nick Fitzsimmons summed up their lives as livestock judges on Facebook:
"We wake up ready at the break of dawn
We automatically get that exhilarating feeling.... its game on.
Button ups, starched jeans, and square toes is how we dress
With our hair gelled up you know we're always here to impress
The feeling when you get in that van surely will never be matched
It's time to go so load up and make sure the back door is latched
We've started at a young age and the driving force is our passion
When we set out for the day we conduct ourselves in an unmatched fashion
It may be cattle, hogs, sheep, or goats we have people from all across the board
But with that steno and pen in hand there's one common goal we all work toward
When we pull out the card the tension is surely high
But we must surely never question our well trained eye
Whether it be freezing cold or blistering heat
With what we learn today in the future we will never be beat
So sort em right and talk em tuff because we are true stockman
Watch out world cuz BHE 2013 is coming to fight again!"

Teams were coached by Dan Hoge and Jared Boyert.