By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

INDIANAPOLIS  – The FFA quiz teams of Grapeland High School will have to make room for a few more plaques on their wall – as they have returned from the National Invitational Quiz Competition as the national champions with multiple awards in hand – including first place, third place and fifth place.

The Sr. Quiz Team consisting of Amy Crook, J.D. Martin and Taylor Pennington were named the No. 1 team in the nation on Tuesday, Oct. 23 continuing a long tradition of success. In addition, each Sr. Quiz Team member celebrated personal victories in addition to the team’s shared win. Pennington placed first as an individual, while Crook placed second and Martin placed ninth.

This was Grapeland’s fifth national first-place title in six years, winning titles in 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2013 under the leadership of veteran Grapeland FFA Advisor Gary Graham.

The team comprised of Keke Harris, Cayden LeBlanc and Madi McCombs placed third overall. McCombs placed sixth individually, while Harris placed eighth.

Placing fifth nationally was the team of Cadie Currie, Mark Hanna, Presley Reynolds and Mary Jane Watson.

The 91st National FFA Convention officially kicked off on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Indianapolis as local high school, as well as a few junior high, FFA teams made the long trek from Houston County to the Hoosier State for the four-day event and a chance to learn about the program’s past and where the FFA organization is headed in the future.

Prior to the start of the convention, the quiz teams had a chance to compete at the national level and showed why Houston County may well be not only the oldest county in Texas, it may also be the smartest!

In 2017, the Grapeland team not only captured first in the Sr. Quiz Division, but placed fourth in the Jr. Quiz contest as well as winning other individual awards.

The National FFA organization is the  youth organization dedicated to preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. FFA members are the future food industry’s premier human capital, and they are all driven by the organization’s foundational motto: Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve. Cultivating their passion and connecting them to innovative thought processes and cutting-edge technology is critical to their individual ability to support and contribute to future sustainability in farming, science, medicine, and business alike.

The National FFA organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 650,000-plus student members belonging to 8,500-plus local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

For more information on the competition and a look back at the history of Grapeland’s quiz teams, see the Thursday, Nov. 1 issue of The Messenger.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.