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Pit Vipers finish in top five at recent barbecue competition
The Tallulah Falls School Pit Vipers, the school’s barbecue competition team, captured a top-five finish at the Georgia Barbecue Championship/Kansas City Barbeque Society “Hawgin on Lanier” BBQ competition held July 31-Aug. 1 in Cumming.
In the KCBS Backyard Division categories, the Pit Vipers finished first in chicken.
“Fun fact: the score in the chicken category was the highest score for both backyard and professional divisions,” said Head Pitmaster Tom Tilley.
The Pit Vipers continued with fifth in pork ribs, 17th in pulled pork and seventh in the Kids’ Que Division (age 11-15 group).
TFS placed 15th in ribeye steak out of 76 Steak Cookoff Association teams and 24th in smoked turkey breast out of 88 teams, earning fifth overall.
“This was the opportunity for the TFS Pit Vipers to showcase their skills among the ‘best of the best,’” Tilly said. “Due to COVID 19, 75% of the KCBS competitions have been canceled, enticing some of the nation's best barbecue teams to come out to cook at this event.”
The Pit Vipers are led by alumnus AJ Hayes of Cornelia, senior Ty Tilley of Tallulah Falls and senior Cainan Yaskiewicz of Sky Valley, NC. Other members include freshman Brooke Hayes of Cornelia, freshman Marc Crotta of Cornelia, freshman Joel Bourlet of Tallulah Falls and eighth-grader Teryk Tilley of Tallulah Falls.
“We now know we can compete with the best teams in the nation. It was the next step we needed to prepare for the KCBS World BBQ Championships,” Tilley added.
The Pit Vipers are ranked seventh in the nation in chicken and 11th in ribs by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Additionally, the team is ranked fourth overall in the state by the Georgia BBQ Championship organization, first in chicken, fifth in ribs and pork.
The team’s next competition is set for Nov. 14 at the World Championships in Mayetta, Kansas.
Shown, from left, are freshman Marc Crotta of Cornelia, senior Cainan Yaskiewicz of Sky Valley, NC, freshman Joel Bourlet of Tallulah Falls, TFS alum AJ Hayes of Cornelia, eighth-grader Teryk Tilley of Tallulah Falls, freshman Brooke Hayes of Cornelia and senior Ty Tilley of Tallulah Falls.