Thomson, GA (WJBF) — When you mention Thomson High School to CSRA residents, they typically think of the Bulldogs’ as a football power. However, Thomson is also a powerhouse in student auto skills competitions.
For the 19th time in 28 years, Thomson High School will send a pair of students to a national auto skills competition. This year, Austin and Aaron Gay will compete in the 2015 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals, a prestigious competition at Ford’s headquarters outside of Detroit, Michigan.
This year’s duo is also a unique one. Austin and Aaron Gay are cousins, which they believe will play to their advantage in the competition next Monday and Tuesday.
“Teamwork is a big part of it,” Austin Gay said. “One of us don’t win state without the other one. Being cousins, it helps out a lot. It’s kind of neat for both of us to go; we’re really close and kind of like brothers.”
The Gay cousins will have to inspect and diagnose the issues of a 2015 Ford Mustang at next week’s competition, in addition to a written test. The competitors receive a bugged vehicle and will need to fix the car’s issues in the least amount of time to win the competition.
Thomson auto shop teacher Jason Brooks competed in the event himself in 1998, and this year marks the 8th time Brooks will send students to the renowned national competition.
“They know they can trust the other one and trust their opinion,” Brooks said of the cousins. “I think that means a lot. Any other years that I’ve taken students up there, I don’t think they’ve had that tight of a relationship to where it helped them that much.”
Brooks 5th place finish in 1998 is the best in school history, so the cousins are trying to be the first win a national title for the Bulldogs.