Cutting through Barriers: Woodbury FFA Timber Team


Mrs. Zeilinski

The Woodbury FFA timber team competes at their first competition of the season. Photo by: Zeilinski

Shelby Rushin, Reporter

WOODBURY — The end of the 2020-21 school year, agriscience teacher Andrew Zielinski founded Nonnewaug High School’s very first timber sports team.

Zielinski remembers the days when he was in college and was a part of the timber team at SUNY Cobleskill. 

“I really enjoyed it in college and saw other schools in the state doing [timber sports] and thought it would be a lot of fun,” Zielinski said. “It’s a perfect example of what sportsmanship should be.

When the team started it was just a small group of 11 students who didn’t know what they were doing and a coach who had some experience in this area. One of the founding members, Ryan Wicklund, has been on the team since Day 1.

“If I’m being honest it was kind of intimidating being a founding member of the timber team. I had to learn how to use the equipment, then learn the events, and at the same time build the field we would practice in,” Wicklund said. “I will never forget our first competition when we showed up and the two other teams were bigger than us and older. They did team chants and we had no clue what to do. But I remember our metals from that day and our wood cookies are hung on the shelf with our lowest times of the season. It all paid off in the end.” 

Now that the timber team is gaining traction among the FFA members, people are becoming excited about the fundraising and upcoming season, especially team captain Kennis McCarthy.

“I am expecting more awareness about the timber team and the excitement about the upcoming spring competitions,” McCarthy said. “We will be doing fundraising and I am hoping we get new equipment that the future teams can use and continue to expand on their skills in the sport.”

One of the newer members and freshmen, Levi Johnson, was personally very excited to join. 

“It was basically made for me and I like throwing axes and sawing wood,” Johnson said.

The team can only have a maximum of 28 people and is open to only the FFA/agriscience students. However, the team still encourages everyone in the community to come out to the fairs and fundraisers to support them and keep the sport alive for many years to come.