Wesley Royer Nails Down a State Title

Wesley Royer works in the shop making cutting boards for his trip to Nationals. The boards are hand-crafted and lasered tediously with the ADM Tiger logo.
Wesley Royer works in the shop making cutting boards for his trip to Nationals. The boards are hand-crafted and lasered tediously with the ADM Tiger logo.
Photo by Delaney Kahler

ADM’s own Wesley Royer recently competed in the Skills USA State Carpentry Competition on April 26 and went home one state title richer.

He competed in the individual carpentry category and was tasked with building a structure in seven hours. Participants were given all the materials, plans and a side of stormy weather during this competition.

Royer prepared heavily during class time with Industrial Tech teacher Alex Reams for the intensity of the day.

“I put a lot of effort into it,” Royer said. “I prepared by studying the plans a week in advance with Mr. Reams and him walking me through the steps I didn’t understand. When we got there, all the lumber was there and we just had to build it as best as we could.”

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Royer revealed he didn’t have much of a strategy walking into the competition; he just knew he had to follow the building plans to his best ability in order to tie down a first-place win.

About 40 minutes into the competition, storm clouds rolled in and cast a downpour on all students competing. Royer admitted this was a test of toughness for him, but he felt the need to persist.

“They even asked us if we wanted to take a break until the rain stopped, but I said no,” he said. “It was a challenge because it made me very wet and cold.”

Another thing that brought adversity to Royer in this competition was how precise the angle cuts on the wood had to be in order to get a good rating from the judges. This required time and patience to make sure even the slightest details were executed to perfection. During the lunch break, Royer and others were able to communicate to their mentors and troubleshoot and problems that were arising for them. Reams was present throughout the competition and was ready to give advice whenever needed.

Seven hours of continuous work later, Royer was awarded the first-place title and a chance to take a trip to Nationals this summer in Atlanta, Georgia.

“When I won, all I could feel was joy,” he said. “I was really, really excited.”

Royer had words of wisdom to give to students partaking in this opportunity next year.

“Study the plans and build similar things in advance for practice,” he said.

In an effort to raise money for his trip to Nationals, Royer started advertising homemade cutting boards and coasters made of walnut and maple on various social medias and flyers posted around the school. The boards are embellished with a laser-engraved ADM Tiger logo in the corner.

“They’re crafted by a State Champion,” Royer said. “They’re awesome.”

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