Alabama A&M University is the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to host and compete in the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series presented by Carhartt. Alabama A&M’s Forestry, Ecology and Wildlife program is the only professionally accredited forestry school at an HBCU. The Society of American Foresters first accredited the forestry major at the university in 2002 and affirmed the accreditation in 2008.
Stihl Inc. is the creator and producer of the Stihl Timbersports Series presented by Carhartt, the world’s premier lumberjack sports event, seen by millions of fans on ESPN. On, Thursday, March 12, STIHL brings the Collegiate Series to the Alabama A&M campus for the first time. There, the best lumberjacks from approximately 15 Southeastern colleges will contend for a place in the 2009 Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series Championship.
“We’re honored to host the Stihl Timbersports Southeastern Collegiate Challenge at our university,” said Dr. William Stone, associate professor of forestry at Alabama A&M University. “This is a great way for our forestry school to become more visible in the academic and recreational landscape.”
Since Stihl created the Collegiate Series in 2003, the Series has traveled to college campuses across the country to seek out the best amateur athletes and give them the opportunity to advance in the sport. More than 50 universities and colleges presently compete in the Series.
The spectator-friendly competition will take place March 12 at 7 p.m. CDT at the Alabama A&M University Agribition Center where approximately 15 lumberjacks from different campuses will contend for the Southeastern crown. The student competitors will compete in the single buck, stock saw, underhand chop and, for the first time in the Collegiate Series’ history, the standing block chop. Competitors from the attending schools will be judged based on the professional Stihl Timbersports rules. The event will be televised on ESPNU.
“The Southeastern Collegiate Challenge is always a great event because of the number of schools which participate,” said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager of Stihl Inc. “The sport of lumberjacking continues to gain momentum in the college ranks, and the visibility on ESPNU and chance to compete in the professional series has really increased the competition intensity.”
Before the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series competition, a training session will be conducted by professional lumberjack Mike Slingerland, who has been competing in the professional series for more than a decade. Slingerland will provide pointers to the collegiate lumberjacks, demonstrate techniques involved in the lumberjack disciplines and assist the athletes in improving their skills.
In addition to the Southeastern Collegiate Challenge, the Collegiate Series consists of four other regional events and one championship. The complete schedule for the 2009 Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series includes:
Central/Midwest hosted by Michigan Tech in Houghton, Mich. Sept. 29, 2008
Southeastern hosted by Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Ala. March 12, 2009
Western hosted by Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. March 20, 2009
Mid-Atlantic hosted by Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland, Md. April 18, 2009
Northeast hosted by Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. April 25, 2009
The winner of the each regional Collegiate Challenge event will earn a spot in the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Championship in Columbus, Ga. June 19-21 and a scholarship from STIHL for his school. In Columbus, the five regional winners and one wildcard pick will go head-to-head to claim the 2009 Collegiate Championship title, who then earns a place in the professional ranks in the 2010 Stihl Timbersports Series presented by Carhartt.
The entire 2009 season of the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series will air on ESPNU. Fans of the series can also get the latest information and up-to-date news and video on all the competitions by signing up for the Quick Cuts e-newsletter at www.stihltimbersports.com.