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Competition & Events '09

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2008 Competition Year Re-Cap in Numbers & Highlights
  • 30 Contests

  • 6 States - FL, GA, AL, TN, SC, MO

  • 9 Grand Championships

  • 3 Reserve Grand Championships

  • 27 Top 10 finishes

  • 25 Top 5 finishes

  • 2008 FBA Team of the Year

  • 1st Overall in the National BBQ Rankings ending 2008

  • 3rd Overall at the '07 National "Best of the Best" Invitational

  • Won State Championships in FL, AL, GA

  • Qualified for the American Royal Invitational '09

  • Qualified for the Best of the Best Invitational '09

  • In the "Draw" for the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational '09

  • 7 major charity events

  • Finalist, '08 Polk County School Board Superintendent's Partnership Award 

It was a really good year for Swamp Boys BBQ! The goals were to win the FBA Team of the Year Award, qualify for the FBA's Triple Crown Championship, cook the American Royal Invitational, & qualify again for the national "Best of the Best". We managed to do all this & have a great time to boot. Of course I wanted to get an invitation to the 20th annual Jack Daniel's World Championships in Lynchburg TN, but I was not drawn. We will try again to earn our way in for 2009. As always, thanks to Amy, Robin, Tammy & Woody for being there. They give encouragement, support, & help, making it all possible. You guys are the best!

January 11-12 Central Florida BBQ Festival, Sebring FL
1st place Brisket, 5th Overall/41 Teams
Another slow start to the new year. The 1st place  brisket was sweet though!
January 18-19 Top Of The Lake BBQ Affair, Okeechobee FL
5th Pork, 2nd Brisket, 5th Overall/30 Teams
Another 5th overall...I think many of the same judges are here that were in Sebring. And I'm thinking that they will also be in Wauchula, so I need to ride it out & hang on till we head north a little. I didn't arrive in Okeechobee until late Friday afternoon, so I was scrambling from the beginning. All in all not too bad though. Jim hosted a nice party on Friday night that everyone enjoyed.
January 25-26 Lakeland Pig Fest, Lakeland FL
9th Chicken, 10th Pork, 3rd Brisket, 4th Overall/57 teams
I tried a totally new rub & sauce for my chicken this weekend, since it hadn't done well the previous 2 contests. I figured I had nothing to lose, especially considering the national teams we were cooking against: Lotta Bull (OK), Smokin' Triggers (TX), Parrothead Smokers (SD), Cool Smoke (MD), Smoky Mtn. Smokers (TN), Quau (IL) just to name a few. I was very pleased with the results, especially the brisket call. Tammy, Robin & Woody sold pork sandwiches and corn on the cob all day & did a bang-up job as usual. Thanks for all of your help guys. I loved having you there!
February 1-2 Grillin' & Chillin' on Main, Wauchula FL
3rd Chicken, 6th Ribs, 8th Pork, 2nd Brisket, 3rd Overall/20 Teams
I arrived late at this contest too after working a half day. It was nice to finally have all 4 categories hit, & I'm wondering if I should keep using the new chicken recipe.
February 8-9 Smoke on the Water, Winter Haven FL
4th Chicken, 3rd Pork, 3rd Overall/44 Teams
Of course I always have high hopes for my home town cookoff, but once again it was not meant to be for me. Just like last year, I had all the confidence in the world for my brisket but it didn't score. Organizer Frank did an outstanding job of hosting this contest, making it one of the highlights of the FBA season. And the Swamp Babes & Woody sold out of 2 cases of butts & several bushels of corn by 3pm again, doing a fantastic job. I love my Swamp Babes, & tolerate Woody ;^)
Tied for 2nd in FBA; 5th in the National BBQ Rankings
February 11 Cater AES VIP Reception for 300 people
We were invited to cater AES's 30th anniversary International VIP reception for their trade show. The menu included a low country boil, ribs, pulled pork, chicken wings, baked beans, cole slaw, & ice tea. The Swamp Babes came along as ambassadors & to help serve everyone. Of course they did their usual wonderful job & made us all look good. We heard lots of nice compliments about the food, & I think they were very satisfied. They even printed up t-shirts for everyone stating "I survived the AES and Swamp Boys BBQ!" :^)
February 22-23 Bark-N-Purr Wild West Fest & BBQ Cookoff, Bronson FL
1st Ribs, 2nd Pork, 2nd Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION/25 Teams
<insert big smile here> Pulled into Bronson around 4:30 after getting lost for 30 minutes. Got set up quickly with some help from friends & settled in for the night around midnight. One thirty AM I awoke to rain, which very quickly turned into horizontal rain with reported 60mph wind gusts. Of course my "airy" trailer design left me & my sleeping bag soaked, but I was better off than those whose tents were blown away. Quite a mess. I felt pretty good about my entries, & was happy to be cooking in the northern area of FL. This win put me in 1st overall in the FBA TOTY points race.

1st place Ribs!

Elite with make-shift fan
Feb. 29-March 1 Pigs On The River, Palatka FL
5th Ribs, 5th Pork, 1st Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION/33 Teams
Another late arrival (~4:00) after working a half day. The site at Palatka was very nice, right on the banks of the St. John's river. There was a fish fry for us Friday night which really hit the spot, & the weather was beautiful. Saturday my butts & briskets were behind schedule & panic was about to take over when 1:30 came around & the briskets were still on the smoker. I made it to turn in right alongside of Dan from Barnwood Barbecue with 30 seconds to spare, which is a little too close for my liking. Turns out it worked OK, because my brisket took 1st place & set the high score in brisket so far for '08 with a 197.88332. I'm giving this trophy to my friends at Mac's Meats. Brothers Steve & Greg ran this great family business, but Steve tragically passed away this year. He was just 36. Steve was always a big fan of my brisket, & used to give me an extra every now & then to cook for their family to share. I'm going to miss him.
March 7-8 Pig on the Pond, Clermont FL
3rd Chicken, 6th Pork, 9th Brisket, 3rd Overall/31 Teams
Arrived around 2:45 & got busy. Didn't have my usual spot, so things were a bit cramped but it all worked out. It rained most of the evening, with winds picking up over night. By the time morning came around, we had steady a 25mph, with gusts reportedly up to 50mph. Needless to say, it made for a long day. My camp was fine because of my rigid trailer & roof system. But those with tents either had to take them down or the wind took them down. All of my meats I felt were good; none spectacular. I was happy to see my buddy Foy pull a 3rd in brisket - he's been working hard on it. Tammy, Robin, & Woody handled the vending duties, selling nearly 2 cases of butts, a case + of ribs, 4 bushels of corn, & sodas. They were able to sell out before awards, which is always a great accomplishment. Thanks so much for all of the hard work guys, I love ya! Yeah, even you Woody. Oh & BTW, I have now qualified for the FBA Triple Crown Invitational which will be held in December! Still ranked #1 FBA, #5 Nationally (hasn't been updated in a while).
March 14-15 Hog Wild & Pig Crazy Barbecue, Lake City FL
4th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 1st Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION / 
41 Teams
Wooooo! Sure didn't see that coming :^) Two years ago I got 1st Ribs & RGC here. Last year I got 1st Ribs & RGC. This year I was determined to get GC, & I guess my determination paid off. Drove through a few hours of rain to arrive at 3:30. I had Kent & Jodi Harriss  with me for the weekend as they were working towards their Master Judge Certification, so they helped me get set up. Friday was uneventful & Saturday was cloudy with building winds. I tweaked my chicken for the 3rd time this year & it is apparently getting a little better. Jodi & Kent observed & gave feedback during the boxing time, & their son Jordan joined them to help out while vending. Unfortunately the crowds didn't show like we had hoped, but we were able to donate our unsold food to the recent tornado victims from last weekend in Lake City. The awards ceremony was kind of surreal for me, as I sure didn't expect those results with all of the fine teams that were cooking there. My overall score of 769.63334 actually set the highest overall score mark for the year so far, & my Ribs also set the high mark to date. I was very happy to see my friends in Uncle Kenny's get their first RGC (& their daughter win her age group in Kid's Q!), Foy continue to do well with brisket, & all my other friends do well too. All in all it was a great weekend spent with great friends!
1st Ribs 1st Pork 1st Brisket Kent & Jodi
March 21-22

Smoke On The Water, Thomaston GA
2nd Pork, 13th Overall/45 Teams
This first year contest is held at Bickley's Pond in Thomaston GA, & was a beautiful setting. Great live music both Friday & Saturday nights, with good crowds. I thought I was doing everything as usual, but as Saturday morning unfolded I realized that my entries were just not up to par. Chicken was tasteless, ribs & brisket were tough. They weren't that way as I took them off the smoker, but they were sure like that going into the boxes. I placed where I deserved to place & finished out of the top 10 for the first time in 10 contests. Time to shake it off and get back to my old self in time for Barnesville GA.

April 5

Cater CC Calhoun, Inc. luncheon for 200: Pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wings, baked beans, cole slaw, sweet tea.

April 8

PorkFest - Roosevelt Academy Fundraiser
Sold over 100 pounds!

April 13

Pig-nic - Fundraiser for Hope Presbyterian
Sold over 200 lunches!

April 18-20

Cater "Rowdy Cup" swim meet
Smoked 2 cases of butts - no leftovers!

April 25-26

Barnesville BBQ & Blues Festival, Barnesville GA (Qualifier)
1st Chicken, 3rd Pork, 2nd Brisket / GRAND CHAMPION 56 Teams
Hooo-weee! I was kind of nervous about this contest, having not cooked in 5 weeks or so & coming off a 13th place finish at Thomaston. I had a goal of finishing in the top 5, so I was very happy! This contest has really grown & is now busting at the seams. The town of Barnesville really puts on a great contest & the people there are the best. The only negative I heard from teams was the low payout, & I agree. I hope B'ville is able to overcome this, because with fuel prices the way they are, I would not have been able to go without the $$ help of my sponsors. Thank you guys! I'm also thankful for all of the fun times I had with great friends up there & can't wait to get together again. Still #1 in the FBA, dropped to 3rd in NBR from the 5 weeks of inactivity.

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1st in Chicken
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Grand Champion!
May 16-17

Tri-State Barbecue Festival, Dothan AL (Qualifier)
8th Ribs, 2nd Pork, 3rd Overall / 43 Teams
Last year I won RGC here, so I had high expectations for myself. It just wasn't meant to be, despite the fact that I won my table in all 4 categories. I knew I had cooked some good stuff, & that's all you can do. I was real happy to see my friends from DW's win their first Grand Championship - that was cool! And Bubba did real good too & grabbed RGC. I had fun with friends, & met some new ones as well. Even got to go to the local TV station for a live half hour spot on the local talk show! All in all it was another great weekend spent barbecuing thanks in part to the generosity of my sponsors; thanks for the help you guys!! :^) 
#1 in FBA, #2 National BBQ Rankings

May 23-24

Day On The River, Valley AL 
3rd Chicken, 5th Ribs, 1st Pork, 2nd Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION/26 Teams
This is the second leg of the Triple Crown Series for AL, & is one great location, nestled right on the Chattahoochee River in Alabama. And for a first year contest, everything went pretty smoothly, with lots of support from the community. We had some rain on Friday which turned several sites into slick clay pits, but we were given bales of hay by the organizers which made it a lot better. The This Butts For You/Big Papa's Country Kitchen camps  combined  together to send me a helluva "good luck" breakfast again, & it worked! Thanks guys :^) . I was pleased with all of my turn-ins, & felt honored to score so well amongst the great competition there. One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to see my friend Hooch win his first RGC, right in his own home-town! Congratulations Greg!! But you can't overlook the reason we all do this: to spend great times with great friends. It doesn't get any better!

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1st place Pork

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GC Trophy & DigiQ II

May 30-31

Planes, Trains, & Barbecue Tavares FL
5th Chicken, 4th Brisket, 7th overall/27 Teams
Hot, hot, hot! This was a nice venue set amongst the old oak trees on the lake, but my spot was in the open, and 95* in my trailer. Still a great time spent with friends though & that's what it's all about. Even had my aunt and uncle from The Villages come over Saturday to offer their support & hang out with me for a while, which was nice. // I was disappointed on the competition side of the weekend, as I felt all my entries were spot-on. But as I've learned over time, that doesn't always translate into high scores. That's the way it goes. The best part of the weekend was seeing my friend Gordon of GB's win his first-ever Grand Championship - way to go Gordon!!
#1 FBA, #2 NBR

June 9

NATIONAL RANKINGS UPDATE: Swamp Boys takes the top spot in the national rankings! At least temporarily we are #1 :^)
With the northern teams cooking weekly now and me only cooking 3 all summer, it may not last too long.
But at least for the moment we can say we made it! Ya-Hooo!!!

June 27 - 28

Tennessee State Championship, Lawrenceburg TN
1st Chicken,
12th Ribs, 12th Pork, 1st Brisket, 3rd Overall/43 Teams
This is the contest where I broke my neck last year, so I had to "get back on the horse". I'm happy to say that there were no injuries this year. Also happy to say that I improved over last year's finish of 6th place. I was disappointed my ribs & pork didn't do better, but I was more than pleased with the 2 firsts in Chicken & Brisket. ButtRub won, Lotta Bull was RGC, & I was 3rd so I was in some good company.
Still ranked #1 by National BBQ Rankings dot com!

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Awesome 1st place trophies!
July 11-12

Festival of Discovery BBQ Cookoff, Greenwood, SC Qualifier
6th Chicken, 9th Overall/59 Teams
This year marked my 5th year at Greenwood, & the hospitality was as good as ever. I just can't say enough about the organizers Angie, Charlie, & the people of Greenwood. Not to mention my SC Swamp Boys team-mates Vicky & Mike. Once again they did a bang up job vending, & even had some of their buddies jump in to help out. We were sold out by 2pm Saturday which was great. Unfortunately with the rising cost of everything bbq related, coupled with me just not being able to score worth a darn up there, I believe this was my last trip to compete in Greenwood. It has become too cost prohibitive, which is too bad because it really is one of the best contests out there in my opinion. On a good note, my friends Bubba & Shannon won GC, which marked their first KCBS GC. I was glad to be able to celebrate the great accomplishment with them! And as always, thanks to Russ & my sponsors for the help with fuel costs. You guys make it all possible!
(Still ranked #1 by National BBQ Rankings dot com!)

Debbie, Andrew, Mike, VeeVee, & Vicky all were a BIG help...
THANKS you guys! :)
August 1-2

Dillard BBQ Festival, Dillard GA, Qualifier
51st CHICKEN, 19th Ribs, 1st Pork, 1st Brisket, 3rd Overall/61 teams
I love going to Dillard, it's such a nice area with great people. Not to mention it gets me out of the boiling FL heat for a few days & into the mountains :). Last year my chicken came in 41st place, keeping me out of the $$ at 4th overall. So I was ready for them this year, & turned in what I thought was excellent chicken; better than the 1st place chicken 5 weeks earlier in TN. Once again the Dillard judges did not agree with me, & punished me for thinking otherwise! I was worse than last year by 10 places in chicken! WTF?! I finished two (2) ten thousandths out of RGC - .0002 of a point...argh. Dillard is known for their great trophies & I had really hoped to win one, so you could imagine my surprise when I was called 1st in Pork. And then 1st in Brisket! Wooo-weee! My friend Tuffy ran away from the pack to win GC, & my FL buddy Kregg swiped RGC from me ;^). Mike & Vicky were able to drive over to help out & spend the weekend which is always a great thing. Thanks you guys! Of course there was LOTS-O-FUN had by all Thursday and Saturday nights. Too many friends to list & remember, but it was a big time. Thanks to Dickens Plumbing, Secured Wright, & Holden Memories for helping out with the fuel bill - you guys are awesome; also thanks to Jane & Steve for having me this year, & I'll plan on seeing you again next year with hopefully a better chicken product.

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Hanging with the guys after awards 
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Beautiful 1st place trophies
August 8-9

Pigs and Peaches BBQ Contest, Kennesaw GA, Qualifier
7th Chicken, 18th Ribs, 7th Pork, 3rd Brisket, 4th Overall/41 teams
I signed up for Kennesaw at the last minute, and was able to leave my trailer at Paul's house (Coyote Creek BBQ) after Dillard to help save on fuel costs - thanks for that Paul! This was a fun 'first time for me' contest. The people of Kennesaw really seemed to get behind it & support it which is always nice. The weather was really hot during the day, but pleasant at night. My friend Gordon & I were treated to a great dinner Saturday night by Pickin Porkers Roger & his wife Marsha - thanks :). Congrats to good friends Bill & Nina for winning GC in a big way!

August 29-31

FBA Fun Cook, Camp Mack, Lake Wales FL
7th Chicken, 6th Ribs, 13th Pork, 1st Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!/24 teams :: Kids Q, Jenna took RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!/7 teams
This was the first time I was able to get my 8 year old daughter Jenna out to enter a Kid's Q, & she had a blast. She had practiced before, so she was confident with the 2 things she was cooking. I helped with the knife work & fire stuff; she did the rest. Her food tasted pretty awesome, & the judges thought so too, awarding her Reserve Grand Champion! Amy & I were real proud of her, & I hope she comes out some more. I had a pretty decent cook, but I knew my pork was off. I was really happy to watch my very good friends Dana & Janet of Big Papa's win their first Grand Championship! He has been so close, so often, & was way overdue. Congratulations Big Papa's. The mosquitoes were huge & hungry at Camp Mack, so everyone was covered in spray for the long weekend. The FBA held the annual general  membership meeting, & I was voted in as president for 2009. I'm really looking forward to a productive, fun year with the FBA; we have lots in store ;)

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Jenna with a baby bella

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Receiving RGC! 
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Grand Champion Dana & I celebrating with a Mississippi Mud!
Sept. 19-20

Caloosahatchee River Roast & BBQ Fest, Ft. Myers FL
2nd Chicken, 1st Ribs, 1st Pork, 4th Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION/16 teams!
This was a relatively small first year contest, but it still pulled in a talented field. I was the last one to get there & played catch up for a while. I had a new team on one side of me - Q4U & it was nice to get to know them. I think we'll be seeing more of them out at contests. The GC trophy for this contest is really neat. One of the guys who worked there made the GC trophy by hand, & it's really something. A pontoon boat with a grill, working outboard motor, and 2 working spotlights under it that light up the pedestal that it sits on. Big congratulations go out to Dana & Janet of Big Papa's on their RGC, & to Fat Back Joe for his great finish. That was cool to see. And last but certainly not least, thank you to Pop for helping me with turn ins. I do appreciate it :^)

Janet bringing my lucky breakfast :)

1st Ribs

1st Pork

Grand Champion

This is the guy who made the trophy
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GC trophy
Sept. 26-27

Grant Bar-B-Que Fest, Grant FL, Qualifier
10th chicken, 4th ribs, 7th pork, 1st brisket, 3rd Overall/30 Teams
First qualifier in the new period, I was trying my best to bring it home. It was great to see Bubba Chuck's win RGC (beat me by 0.3 points).

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1st place brisket
Oct. 3-4

American Royal Invitational, Kansas City MO
4th place pork call in the Invitational! 26th Overall/107 in Invitational; 26th Overall/459 teams in the Open - top 5%
This is a contest that has been on my "bucket list" since I first started competing. The drive out was over 19 hours, but I picked up Mike & Vicky in GA to go with me & that helped a lot. We arrived Thursday night & got set up pretty quickly. When Friday morning came around, I got to see just HOW BIG the American Royal really is. Holy smokes! Looking out over Lot B, which was the Invitational lot, all I could see were rows & rows of cook teams. And not just regular old cook teams, they were all State/Grand Champion cook teams. The teams you hear & read about from across thee country, they were there. It was a little overwhelming to say the least. I was so nervous from that point until the Invitational awards were over that I thought I was going to puke at any moment. Glad I didn't. It was pretty surreal to hear my name called during awards & is something I'll never forget. After awards were over my nerves finally settled down, & I began feeling a lot better. I thought I had a great cook for the Open, & although I didn't get a call, I did finish 26th (again!) which put me in the top 5% of all teams. Not too bad for a little team from Winter Haven :). The whole experience was fantastic, & I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do it. The only bad part was on the way home when we blew a bearing on the trailer, but even that wasn't enough to put a damper on the trip. I was able to meet lots of new people, & see lots of old friends. I hope I get the opportunity to do it again sometime, although I'd fly out for sure 8^)

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Swamp Boys @ night

Chris w/Dizzy Pig Gigantic steel wall of bulls BBQ groupies who wanted their picture taken with Jimmy & me

4th place pork!

Oct. 10-11 Mulberry Fine Swine at the Pit
3rd Chicken, 1st Ribs, 3rd Brisket. RESERVE GRAND CHAMP!/20 TEAMS
I didn't have much time to unpack from KC before I had to reload for Mulberry. I was given a nice site back on the "lake" that I enjoyed. We had a good catfish dinner Friday night, & I enjoyed the night just hanging out & bs'ing with the guys. My wife & 9 year old daughter came over in time Saturday for awards, & as luck would have it, we were called to the stage a couple of times! Jenna was cute as she beat me up there every time, first taking the trophy, & next the check! They sure start young.... ;)

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1st Ribs

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Reserve Grand Champion!

Oct. 14

Senior Q 2008
Roosevelt Academy & Swamp Boys fed 175 people at The Groves Center, 4th year in a row. Very good experience for all.


National BBQ Festival
Oct. 30 - Nov. 2

"Best of the Best" Invitational, Douglas GA (10/30-31)
3rd Ribs, 9th Pork, 7th Brisket, 3rd Overall
I love going to Douglas to compete. They always make the teams feel welcome & take real good care of us. They had the FBA teams all grouped together which made for a lot of fun. It was the second cook on 1 of my new Stump's, & the 1st time for the other. For these two contests, teams have to cook 3 of the 5 offered categories, & I chose to cook Ribs, Pork, & Brisket for both days. I had one of THE BEST looking briskets ever, but I waaay over cooked it which was real disappointing. Turned in my second-string brisky & it did OK. Thought my ribs were near perfect & they did good (got a bell!). Pork, I have a hard time telling. It was so cool to see Big Papa's Country Kitchen win GC here! Dana & Janet represent everything that is good about barbecuers, & are a big asset to the FBA.

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"Smokin' on the Square" Open, Douglas GA (10/31-11/1)
1st Ribs, 2nd Pork, 3rd Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!/55 teams
Woo-Hooo! This was sure a heck of a nice surprise :) The Smokin' on the Square Open typically has all of the Invitational teams from the day before, plus whoever else wants to compete. In all there were 55 teams. Douglas has real nice bells for trophies for 1st - 3rd in category, & I never imagined winning 3 in one contest. That was really cool! I thought my cook went pretty good & was pleased with what was turned in. Mike & Vicky from SC drove down & helped out over the weekend which I really appreciate, as well as our Ambassadors Heidi & Regina who were always there for us. Douglas is a lot of fun!

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Nov. 7-8

Foggy Bottom Bar-B-Que Bash Elba, AL

1st Chicken, 2nd Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!/22 Teams
This was a first year contest in the small town of Elba, which is pretty far off the Interstates. They sure did have a lot of community support though, as a bunch of people came to check everything out on Saturday. Out of the 22 pro teams competing, 7 of them had won a GC or RGC in '08, so it was a tough crowd. We had some cold rain on Friday which made for a lot of mud, but Saturday was beautiful. I was pleased with all of my turn-ins, & excited to hear my name at awards. This was a great contest that I hope to be able to return to next year.

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Grand Champion!
Nov. 11

Charity cook for WH Stingray's Banquet, featuring Rowdy Gaines (250)
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My daughter getting Rowdy's autograph

Nov. 13

Charity cook for Roosevelt Academy parents
Pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, slaw, for 150

Nov. 14-15

Bartow Bluegrass & BBQ - Qualifier
4th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 3rd Pork, 3rd Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!/18 Teams
This first year contest was really done up right. It was put on in part by the Bartow Band Parents, & they really knew how to make things happen. We had nice big spots, great power & water, live bluegrass entertainment, a fantastic low country boil for supper Friday night, and a breakfast buffet Saturday morning. These guys knew how to make the cook teams feel special, which is very much appreciated by everyone. There was a little inclement weather in the beginning, but the day cleared up to be beautiful. We were vending, so Amy, Tammy, Robin, & Woody were all there feeding the masses :) I was pretty pleased with the way my cook went, but you can just never tell any more. Even though there were just 18 teams, the field was strong. Eleven of the 18 were previous Grand Champion pro teams, so when we got 4 good calls I was cautiously excited. JOS had a couple of 1st calls & another top 10, so they were looking real good. When we were finally called as GC, the feeling was great! I had not won a qualifier in FL before, & Amy had never been at an awards where we won GC. It was a great time, & later on we went out to celebrate with This Butt's For You & Space Coast. Thanks again FK for getting the tab, but that's not how it's supposed to work!

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1st Ribs
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Grand Champions!
Nov. 21-22

Plant City Pig Jam. KCBS - Qualifier
5th Chicken, 4th Ribs, 15th Pork, 8th Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!/42 Teams
WOW 8*) Sure didn't see this coming. The best I've ever finished in Plant City in prior years was 13th overall, so this year I had a goal of the top 7 or 8. Plant City always draws some of the big name KCBS teams down from up north, & this year was no exception. Of the 42 pro teams, at least 20 were past GCs, & there was 9 of the top 25 teams from the National BBQ Rankings there to compete. We were also vending & Tammy, Amy, & Woody stayed real busy all day, & Robin came out to join the gang mid afternoon. They had a good line with satisfied customers, & we sold out which is always great. Also, this marked our first KCBS GC! Speaking of KCBS, I forgot all about prepping my dang garnish until 11AM Saturday, a mere 1 hour before turn in. Yikes! BTW, we moved up from #5 to #1 in the National BBQ Rankings after this contest  8)

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Our vending set up
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The gang enjoying the moment!
November 30 Charity cook, Hope Board of Deacons
Fed 150+ pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, cole slaw for lunch.
December 12-13

The FBA Triple Crown Championship Invitational Perry, FL
4th Brisket, 9th Overall/29 Teams
Not sure what happened in Perry. I cooked everything as I always do but it just didn't score well. Oh well, what can you do? On the plus side, Perry is a neat town & they have a nice area for the contest. It was cold Thursday night, 36* where I was sleeping when I woke up. It was a lot of fun for the weekend though. We did a low country boil Friday night for everyone which went well. Also got to meet the .people behind Old Whiskey River & The Good-One, who are the main sponsors for the TC for '09. My friend and new bbq cook Damon won GC at his first contest, the back yard division in Perry. Besides my poor finish, it was a really nice weekend.


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