Page High School fabrication team places third at competition

Page High School's fabrication team, Maximus Nez, Davison Fuller and Dylan Whitehat, with welding/fabrication instructor Sam Rangel.

Five students from Page High School’s welding program competed in a welding and fabrication contest in Holbrook in February.

Page’s fabrication team took third place. The members of the team were Maximus Nez, Davison Fuller and Dylan Whitehat.

“I think it was a very good experience for them,” said Sam Rangel, Page High School’s welding instructor. “The guys on the fabrication team were very excited and looking forward to the next competition.”

In the fabrication competition, the team is given blueprints, a set of materials and supplies with which to construct it, and six hours to complete the project. The project includes specific cutting processes, specific welding process and thickness.

The winning team is that which follows the blueprint specs the closest and gets the farthest on the project. Teams very rarely finish the entire project in the allotted time. The specific cuts and welds the project requires are all industry standard skills the students will need to know if they do fabrication on a professional level.

The individual welding competition is intense. This year, Lyla and Payton Begay competed for Page High School. Welders are tested on stick welding, mig welding, tig welding, flux core welding, plasma cutting and oxyacetylene, as well as a knowledge test and a blueprint reading test.

Lyla and Payton didn’t qualify for state but gained a lot by attending the competition.

“Even though they didn’t do as well as they may have liked, they learned a lot about what to expect next year,” Rangel said.

The Sand Devil welding team needed a wire feeder and an engine-driven welder in order to compete, but the program found itself coming up short. Rangel reached out to Doug Gardner at Page Steel and asked if they could borrow a wire feeder and engine-driven welder. 

“Without that equipment, my students wouldn’t have been able to compete and our program didn’t have enough money to rent one, so I asked Doug if he could help,” said Rangel. “He just said, ‘Sure. No problem.’ It was very helpful to our program and very generous of Doug and Page Steel to let us use it.”

In addition to letting the welding program use their equipment for the competition, they also transported it to the location.

“I want to say a big ‘thanks’ to Doug, Page Steel and all the people who donated tax credits to the welding program, which paid for our students’ transportation to the event,” Rangel said.

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