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    Centennial senior Syndey Aalbers, right, took the Grand Champion award in the the Ag Mechanics Senior Woods Works division at the 2019 JCLAA Junior Livestock Show with her dog kennel. BURLESON STAR/COURTESY PHOTO

Aalber’s wood-working skills pay off with title

It seemed only right that Syndey Aalbers would be the first Grand Champion at the JCLAA Junior Livestock Show from Centennial’s FFA club.

Last week, Aalbers a senior at Centennial, won the Ag Mechanics Senior Wood Works Grand Champion for her birchwood finished dog kennel. She was also the first Grand Champion from the Burleson ISD.

“It was really exciting because I was the president that started the chapter,” Aalbers said. “So being the first Grand Champion was kind of cool plus it being my senior year it kind of wrapped everything up. It couldn’t have turned out any better.”

The Grand Champion title didn’t come as a complete surprise to Aalbers considering she took third place last year at State Fair of Texas competition.

“When I went to county I had a feeling I would do well considering the state fair had been competitive,” Aalbers said. “I thought I’d do okay but I didn’t think I’d win the whole division.”

At the state fair, Aalbers was third among 30 competitors.

Going into the state fair her Ag Teacher at Centennial’s Garrett Briney said the first show was a learning experience.

“So when I finished third it was really exciting because then I knew I had what you want from a judges perspective and I had all the information we needed,” Aalbers said.

She also credited Briney with pushing her to compete in FFA events.

This is the clubs second year of existence and it is growing by leaps and bounds.

The idea to build the dog kennel came from her mother, who had been pricing kennels and found them rather expensive. Aalbers constructed her award-winning kennel in three months for a around $300.

“I built it over the summer so that when the school-year came around I wouldn’t have to worry about it and it would for sure be done,” Aalbers said.

Aalbers combined the things she learned in Centennial’s Ag Mechanics class along with knowledge she had gathered from her grandparents to design and build the dog kennel.

“Both my grandparents do a lot of wood working,” Aalbers said. “I’ve always gone to their shop and helped them build stuff since I was little.”

Now friends and relatives want her to build a kennel for them.

Once she has finished showing the kennel, Aalbers dog Belle, a French bulldog, will finally be able to use the kennel.

“Right now she is banned from getting into it,” Aalbers said. “I don’t want her to scratch it or get hair all over it.”

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