MARIETTA - The FFA's agricultural and industrial diagnostics competitions runs in the family for Scott Moore.
Moore, 39, of Stanleyville, recently returned from the state competition at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima where the Marietta High School FFA chapter team he coached took fifth place, finishing just seven points behind the overall winner.
It's the third consecutive year Moore's team has made the state competition and the fourth year since he took over as coach from his father, Allen, who had coached the team since the late 1970s.
Scott Moore, a mechanic at Southeastern Equipment in Marietta, worked with the team and his father, then became coach after Allen Moore passed away in 2008.
"I guess I kind of got stuck in that, yeah," Moore laughed. "I enjoy every minute of it."
And he's got some family backing him up as well. His brother, Ray, and brother-in-law, Dave Bauerbach, assist him, as well as his cousin Mike Moore - who originally got Allen involved with the program all those years ago - and Mike's son, Ryan, who was a part of the Allen Moore-coached state champion team in 2005.
Although there are anywhere from seven to 15 students at the after-school practices, only two are selected to go to the competition. For the second year in a row, the duo was senior Spencer Duckworth and junior Eric Zimmer, who was making his third trip.
They've 'been a joy to teach," Moore said. "Kind of challenging to keep ahead of them."
In the competition, students are presented with a tractor, combine or similar piece of equipment that has been "bugged," intentionally disabled in some way. They are given 20 minutes to diagnose and correct the problem while following proper safety practices. There is also a written test.
Duckworth, president of the high school's FFA chapter, noted they are often competing against vocational school students who practice their skills during class time.
"Even though (Moore) doesn't have the time with us every day, he can still teach us well enough to do that well against kids that, that's what they do," he said.
Moore said the students and coaches start practicing one evening a month in September and October. By January, it's up to once or twice a week.
"This is a big commitment for the boys," he said, adding it's one they don't seem to mind. "Last year we had a couple snow days and they're calling me, begging me to work."
Duckworth said he was ecstatic to take fifth place, which allowed them to bring a banner back to add to the collection hanging in the high school's ag room.
"That's been one of my goals in FFA," he said. "So long as the chapter's here, those banners will still be hanging in there."
The students were also rewarded with $4,000 scholarships to UNOH, where Zimmer plans to attend, according to ag teacher and FFA adviser Brian Welch.
Duckworth has been accepted to the University of Dayton, where he will study mechanical engineering.