The Milford High School ProStart team won the state competition on March 7, qualifying for the NPSI-National ProStart Invitational in Washington D.C on May 2-4.
“Every team in the final three did an amazing job at their performance. Every team's plates were amazing and each team definitely had its best run,” Mallory Gregory, Milford ProStart coach said. “Milford soar completely rocked it in their final three performance, but it definitely wasn't by chance. They have put in so much time practicing, taking feedback, improving and working through stressful situations to be at their best.”
Gregory said they knew the competition was going to be close, and it was. Milford ended up winning by two points.
“When the judges were giving the critiques to all teams, no one could get a gauge on who won,” she said. “The feedback was solid for all three teams. It was quite nerve-racking, exciting and also humbling to know every student at that competition truly did their best.”
Now state champions, Gregory said she feels blessed as their coach to know they won.
“It takes a village, and this crew is surrounded by such an amazing community and team,” she said. “From the chef mentors who have supported these students, to the time we have put in at school and to the time they have sacrificed, it is just so humbling.”
Students on the ProStart team said they were shocked but also excited to have won state.
“I was so shocked and proud of our team and our growth,” Veronika Johns said. “We've worked so hard to get to this point, and I know we're all excited to get the opportunity to go to Nationals.”
“It almost feels unreal to be representing the state of Nebraska,” Emma Hershberger said. “I'm super excited to go to D.C.”
“I am very excited and nervous at the same time, but I am looking forward to this great experience,” Maizie Kold said. “Personally, I have never been to D.C. before, so I am thrilled to go on this trip.”
“(I’m) very excited and relieved,” Gavin Piening said. “I’m glad that I get to go to DC.”
Gregory said she’s w thankful for the family and consumer science teachers of Milford before her, the school board, the administrative team, teachers, families and alumni for their support throughout the year.
“This team truly makes me laugh every time they work together,” she said. “Through humor, determination and ability to see feedback as a way to improve, they were able to find success.”
Now that the team has qualified for nationals, they have to continue to work on their plates.
Gregory said the team will get the opportunity to go to the Institute of Culinary Arts in Omaha for Champ Camp. At Champ Camp, the Milford ProStart team will get the opportunity to work with chef instructors and college competition teams to work through Milford's menu, the run of the competition and the mindset of a professional chef.
“It is the coolest learning and growth experience I have ever been a part of and cannot wait for this year's team to experience this,” Gregory said. “Our team will also do multiple more practice run-throughs in school.”
Along with competing at nationals, Gregory said they will get the chance to explore in Washington D.C.
“We will try to take in as many of the sites as we can pack in,” she said. “D.C. is such an amazing educational experience, and we absolutely want them to see the city, the cuisines, the people and the history.”