EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD)- Eureka High School competed in a national competition in Indianapolis, Indiana on Nov. 2 through Nov. 3.

The Agricultural Mechanics team placed eighth overall, winning them a gold chapter status. The team consisted of four members, Luke Rinkenberger, a recent graduate, Mason Keiser, a senior, Trevor Hasselbacher, a junior, and Micah Hoffman, a sophomore.

The two-day-long competition required lots of teamwork. On day one, the members were tasked with working together to diagnose an issue with a skid-steer loader. On day two, they had to construct, from scratch, an attachment for the skid-steer to move hay.

On top of the teamwork, the members were judged individually on their skill in each section, and the scores would be added up into one final score. Each student had their strengths in welding, mechanics, electrical, and construction.

Co-FFA Adviser, Jason Bachman, reflects on the competition. “Honestly, this whole competition was really neat because it emphasized so much that team comradery, being able to diagnose a problem, work together to solve it, work together to set up different scenarios to build and construct the actual hay moving equipment. So that was really, pretty neat.”

As part of the competition, the teams were unaware of the exact trials they would be facing, so they had to prepare for anything. “All we knew was the general topic and then the expertise that our instructors knew, they shared with us. But from there we kind of just had to win it on our own.” Mason Keiser says on the preparation it took to get a gold rating.

Recent graduate, Luke Rinkenberger, said there was a lot of preparation even though they didn’t know what they were facing. “It took quite a bit of teamwork. We met every week for several months. Maybe could’ve been a little more efficient and better planned, but we were just winging it because we didn’t know what we were doing. First time in twenty years we’ve sent an AG mech team to nationals.”

This is the first time Eureka High School has had a champion Agricultural Mechanics team since 1997.