Augusta County high school team returns from Canada

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- UPDATE (August 3):

The Fort Defiance High School Envirothon team finished 12th out of 52 teams at a national competition in Ontario, Canada. The competition took place July 24-29.

The five guys on the team say it was a moment of a lifetime.

"It's a great feeling. Just getting to know all these guys and taking a long trip with them, it's really fun," said Jake Good, one of the recently graduated seniors on the team.

During the competition, the team had to answer questions based on the studies of soil, forestry and wildlife.

Jacob Lewis, who also just graduated, said it helped get him ready for college this fall.

"This competition just did a very good job at preparing its students for like study habits and as well as communication skills through the oral presentation," said Lewis.

While four of the students on the team have graduated, Jacob Lamb is a rising senior. He said he hopes next year they can make it again.

"I'm definitely excited to get the opportunity to just kind of learn more about the environment and also see how far we can go this coming year," said Lamb.

While the graduates prepare to head off to college to continue their environmental studies, their coach Brent Hull said they're a group of guys he couldn't be more proud of.

"I hate that fact that they're moving on, but they're all going to go do amazing things from soil to agri-science to forestry," Hull said. "And they left an amazing impression on the students that we have returning, as far as work ethic, and how to get from point A to point B."

From here in the Valley to wherever that journey takes them, they'll always have a national trip as a memory.

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One Valley high school has a team that just won states and is now headed to the national level this summer. Envirothon is a team-based competition that includes the study of things like soil, forestry and wildlife.

"It was really an exciting feeling because we worked really hard for it this year and especially after doing all four years it was nice to get the reward of putting in the work that we have," said Jacob Wright, senior on the team.

Wright has been on the team all four years and helped take the team to states two years ago. He said the biggest challenge they face is just remembering everything.

"Probably putting together a presentation and to try and get it memorized and to get all the information, because it's so much stuff that you have to know about --and that you have to be able to talk about when the judges ask you questions," Wright said.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, the team practices what they learn in the classroom --outside behind the school. In some practices, they take a soil probe, stick it in the ground, and pull it up. They use the information they gather to learn about the makeup of the soil. When they aren't outside they're researching new topics.

The team that won this year has five members. Three of them are seniors.

Brent Hull coaches the team. He's been to the national level nine times.

"To see them not only get to go to this contest but also three of them are graduating and going on to a career or to study some type of agriculture or resources topic, it's pretty awesome," said Hull.

The next thing left for these remaining seniors is a national title, which they hope to grab this summer. Wright said win or lose, he knows his future.

"I've always enjoyed agriculture and the environment because I grew up on a farm, and it's led me to want to major in soil science next year," said Wright.

The team is set to head to the national level July 24-29. It will be held at Trent University in Canada.