Forgive Harlem High School students Phillip Knox and Chris Huffman if they seem abundantly confident.
The seniors, who are heading into the state Vocational Industrial Clubs of America's championship, say they're feeling good about their skills in fixing engines.
"We're just going to win," Phillip said about the championship that will take place in Atlanta April 26-28.
Already, the two have medals to back up their expertise.
At the Feb. 22 Region Six championships, Phillip won a gold medal in the Power Equipment Technology competition, while Chris took the silver medal in Automotive Troubleshooting to advance to state.
This is Phillip's third medal in VICA competition. He won silver medals in the same category at the region and state competition last year.
The silver was Chris' first VICA medal, and he will be making his first trip to state competition.
Their teacher, Nick Hayes, said Phillip and Chris' medals build on the successes the program has achieved in his five years as instructor. Harlem High students have placed and advanced to state four out of Hayes' five years, he said.
"I'm proud of them," he said. "I tell them all the time that I just ride on their coattails."
In the Power Equipment Technology category, students will be timed as they perform wet and dry compression tests, repair a push mower, install valves and identify parts. Competitors in Automotive Troubleshooting will be timed as they conduct an alignment check, run the diagnostic scanner, perform battery and alternator checks and identify vehicle parts.
"The competition is a lot better" at state level, Hayes said, adding that many of the schools they compete against are strictly vocational education high schools.
Chris said he plans to study hard to improve his chances to win at state.
"I really want to study more in the (manuals) to learn the details" of the engines, he said. "I think it's going to be a fun trip."
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