Jill Oles has the York County Homeschoolers Envirothon team's success figured out.
Knowledge plus confidence resulted in a recent state competition win.
And that win means the team will compete Aug. 4 to 9 at the 2013 North American Envirothon at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont.
"I knew they could do it," said Oles, the York team coach. "Two years ago, I told them they could take first and go to nationals, but they didn't believe me. Then they realized they could do it."
The York County Homeschoolers Envirothon team placed first over 61 other teams at the PA State Envirothon competition held May 21 and 22 at Juniata College in Huntingdon County.
The challenge: They were tested on aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and this year's current issue topic "Grazing Livestock for Improved Herd Health & Land Management."
The team members are 18-year-old seniors Mariah Henry of Seven Valleys and Michael Renga of Dover; 17-year-old juniors Collin Inners of York and Jessica Picone of Felton; and sopho-
more, Morgan Staub, 16.
As state winners, they each received a plaque, a medallion, framed artwork and a $1,000 scholarship.
"It's really exciting to finally win the state competition, to make it after all the hard work, studying note cards," Jessica said. "It's a lot of fun. It's definitely a challenge and I'm up for any challenge that comes my way."
The nationals: Sherri Picone, Jessica's mother and a team coach, said the teammates will begin studying twice a week, learning new information for the national competition.
While in Montana, the team will visit Yellowstone National Park and attend a rodeo, she said.
The national competition also will give team members opportunities to travel, learn new information and meet other students who share interest in Envirothon activities, said Oles, of Windsor Township.
"I enjoy working with the students, and it's also a learning experience for me," she said. "They've worked so hard. Winning the state and getting to the nationals -- that's the crown of everything."
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmilla firstname.lastname@example.org.