Celine Rezvani, staff writer
Several Beverly on-campus groups competed in the SkillsUSA competition on Saturday, Jan. 23. Students competed in various fields including broadcasting, cheer, culinary arts and radio.
KBEV made its first appearance at the competition and won a handful of awards, earning two silver awards and one bronze award in news broadcasting, and gold in both radio and digital video production.
Producer Amir Mowlanezhad was pleasantly surprised at the success of his team.
“The feeling of winning was amazing because we never thought that they would give awards to first-timers,” he said.
He felt the experience helped the team grow and assess its strength.
“It was a fantastic opportunity that allowed us to challenge what we know and see what we are capable of,” he said.
Senior Mason Leib and junior Molly Hersh competed alongside one another in broadcast journalism and won silver.
Leib’s first experience in SkillsUSA helped him strengthen relations with his KBEV group.
“We prepared by filming a pre-recorded broadcast showing our talent,” Leib said. “It was a cool bonding experience for the whole KBEV team.”
Leib was also eager to see his years of hard work pay off.
“The feeling was really exciting,” he said. “We were finally recognized for something not many people know we do.”
Beverly’s cheer team also competed in the novice medium cheer team division and won second place and a bid for Nationals.
Senior cheerleader Ally Weisfeld and her team have been preparing for the competition since homecoming, and has worked to perfect it.
“We practiced it [the routine] every day making sure everything was as close to perfect as we could make it,” she said. “The week leading up to the competition we had intense practices and ran the routine constantly.”
Though the team did not place first, Weisfeld is happy with the opportunity to continue to Nationals.
“We were just happy to compete but it was an amazing feeling to have all our hard work pay off,” she said. “We got a bid to Nationals and plan to work hard and hopefully win at Nationals.”
Senior Matthew Sater and junior Owen Lloyd competed for their first time as a team in the audio/radio production category, winning first place in the region.
By competing in the competition, Sater looked at Radio Airlift in a way he never had before.
“We treat radio as a casual, fun, creative outlet,” he said. “So, showing our broadcasting talents in a competitive climate was a wholly new experience.”
Sater feels his victory at SkillsUSA is only one of the many to come.
“We viewed this regional as less of a stand-alone achievement and more of a stepping stone to the state competition, and eventually, Nationals,” he said
Eight culinary arts students also took part in the competition and swept the medals. Mike O’Neill placed gold, Joel Gabai won silver and Natalie Bohbot placed bronze.
Mike O’Neill was anxious to participate in the competition for his first time.
“I was pretty nervous but my classmates who had competed last year told me about it and got me focused and prepared,” he said.
O’Neill and his team prepared rigorously for the competition and felt it paid off.
“Chef Leece was relentless in preparing us for SkillsUSA,” he said. “He had us practice every component of the dish until we were ready for game day!”