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Williamsburg County Sheriff Stephen Gardner got to know students while judging their custom made grills. The Kingstree Senior High School students are in the dual enrollment program at Williamsburg Technical College and participated in Grill-Off/Cook-Off as part of a year-end welding project.

Photo by Michaele Duke

Wisps of spice laden smoke filled the air as Kingstree Senior High School dual enrollment students exhibited their welding and BBQ skills during the Williamsburg Technical College first annual Grill-Off/Cook-Off.  The students built and welded their grills then competed May 24, in a judged BBQ cook off.

Dual enrollment welding instructor Junior Miller, oversaw the project. He asked the students what they would like to build and they chose a grill. The 24 pitmasters set out to design and construct their metal masterpieces. Williamsburg Technical College President Patty Lee said Miller wanted to challenge the students with a year-end project. “I thought it was a mighty industrious choice but as you can see they did a fabulous job,” she said. The sophomores and juniors worked in teams while the seniors worked independently.

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Sophomore Best in Show, Damien Singletary, Clinton Faulton and Ta’Von Livingston.

Photo by Michaele Duke

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Winners in the first annual Williamsburg Technical College Grill Off/Cook-Off Junior Best in Show, Keith McClary, Malek Johnson, Esteven Rodriguez and Zakee Miller.

Photo by Michaele Duke

The barrels used in the construction of the brazier were furnished by the county after Williamsburg County Supervisor Dr. Tiffany Wright toured the facility and learned about the welding class. “We talked to Mr. Miller and we asked what can we do to help,” said Wright who was a judge in the cook-off. “He (Miller) has a sincere passion for the students he teaches as well as the students in any of the fields he works in.”

The judges chosen for the cook-off were Wright, Williamsburg County Sheriff Stephen Gardner, Chief Deputy Vernie Cumbee and The News’ Editor Michaele Duke. Each grill was provided a rack of ribs and two-dozen chicken wings. One lucky sophomore and junior team won Best of Show trophies and a senior took home the Grill Master trophy.

WTC BBQ pic Devarlyn Woods

Grill Master Devarlyn Woods

WTC BBQ pic Tyrese Scott

Best in Show Tyrese Scott

The seniors will keep their grills and president Lee said the sophomores and juniors’ grills would be auctioned off during a future event. “We think this is something that is a great recruitment tool and a great PR tool,” said Lee who hopes to make the grill-off an annual event. “Mother Nature didn’t cooperate with us. It’s about 102 degrees out here but we still had a great time and it was a lot of fun.”

For more information on dual enrollment contact Margaret Chandler at (843) 355-4133 ( or Mike Cumbie at (843) 355-4155 (