ESSEX, Md. (WJZ) — They do it every year at Eastern Technical High School in Essex–graduate some of the best automobile mechanics in the country.
Ron Matz reports two more extraordinary students are about to take their skills to the next level in a national competition.
They know their cars at Eastern Technical High School. Just look at all the awards they’ve won.
Next week, Keith Alexander Jr. and Scott Dengler carry the banner to the nationals in Detroit.
“I’ve been ecstatic about it for the past couple of weeks. It’s actually coming up and it’s only a couple of days away,” said Alexander, Eastern Tech senior.
Both guys knew early they wanted to be a skilled automotive technician.
“We’re putting in the hours and pulling that car apart, trying to learn every little aspect of it. Hopefully, we’ll find out some things the other teams don’t know and have that edge,” said Dengler, Eastern Tech student.
The experience here is hands on, and the future is bright.
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“It’s a four-day event. I’ve been there 15 times. It’s an event they’ll never forget for the rest of their lives,” said Eldridge Watts, teacher.
Alexander and Dengler are working on a Ford Fusion, the car they’ll be tested on at the nationals.
“My dad’s always been working on cars, his grandfather before him. My whole family’s been into cars. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been in the garage working and tinkering with wrenches and stuff,” Dengler said.
This is Eastern Tech’s eighth trip to the national finals in the last 10 years.
“This area needs automotive technicians, college-trained technicians, and that’s our task. All these kids are eventually going to college. They’ll become master technicians with a college degree,” Watts said.
They’re living the dream.
“This has been something I’ve been striving for the past five years. To finally accomplish it is awesome,” Alexander said.
No matter what happens in Detroit, Dengler and Alexander are big winners already. For their state championship, each won $64,000 in scholarships, tools and equipment.
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