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Volunteer judges are need when the top 30 student barbecue teams “meat” up during the State of Texas High School BBQ League Championship on Saturday, May 7, at Burnet High School, 1000 The Green Mile. 

The event is open to the public. Admission is free. Those interested in judging, which starts at 10 a.m. in the school gym, may email Sarena Ringstaff at sringstaff@burnetcisd.net.

For a spot in the state event, teams qualified through league cook-offs held across Texas. Students compete in ribs, chicken, burger, steak, and dessert categories. Turn-in times are 11 a.m. for desserts, 12:30 p.m. for steaks, 2 p.m. for burgers, 3:30 p.m. for chicken, and 5 p.m. for ribs. An awards presentation is at 6 p.m.

The top teams at the Burnet competition advance to the National High School BBQ League Championship — referred to as The SLAB — on June 19-22 at Kalahori Resort in Round Rock.

Burnet High School staff founded the High School BBQ League in 2016. Students learn a range of skills beyond cooking, according to Burnet teacher and team sponsor Brandon Evans, such as teamwork, strong communication skills, and time management. 

Two other vital life lessons are problem solving and quick thinking — anyone participating competitive cooking knows things don’t always go as planned.

Students also learn about the food industry and its wide variety of careers.

For more information about the National High School BBQ Association, home of the High School BBQ League, or student barbecue competitions, visit the association’s website.

daniel@thepicayune.com