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DiPrizio Pine Hosts 12th Annual Eastern White Pine Graders Competition

Following its introduction at the recently held competition for Dimension graders, NELMA’s new tournament bracket format was extended to the 2015 Eastern White Pine Graders Competition, held Saturday, June 27 at DiPrizio Pine in Middleton, New Hampshire.  A total of 55 individuals representing 9 NELMA member mills were on hand to compete for the best grader title and a share of the top eight cash awards that totaled $1,350.  Also in play was the Bronze Hammer Trophy, presented to the top mill team in this 12th Annual event.

Successfully emerging through 4 rounds of grading, Bill Badger of Hancock Lumber’s Pittsfield, Maine mill took top honors in the individual competition, edging Diprizio Pine’s Matt Chesley 7-6 in the final round for the title.  This was Mr. Badger’s second individual title in the history of the competition, his last won in 2012.  The remaining top eight finishers:  3rd Place – Cornel Berry of Pleasant River Pine’s Hancock, Maine Mill; 4th Place – Wilbur Reynolds of Hancock Lumber’s Pittsfield, Maine Mill; 5th Place – Paul Angelone of Madison Lumber Mill, located in West Ossipee, New Hampshire; 6th Place – Cory Price of Hancock Lumber’s Pittsfield, Maine Mill; 7th Place – Nathan Edwards of Hancock Lumber’s Ryefield, Maine Mill; and 8th Place – Garret Blair of Hancock Lumber’s Pittsfield, Maine Mill.

The new format gave the opportunity for individuals that lost out in the first round to enter the Consolation Round for a second chance to grade lumber.  Chris Goode of Hancock Lumber’s Pittsfield, Maine mill took the Consolation Championship in a close 4-3 head-to-head match over Norman Littlefield of Madison Lumber Mill.

The final event of the day saw each of the 9 mill teams compete for the Bronze Hammer Trophy. Using either a group grading strategy or selecting mill representatives, each team graded 10 final boards with no time limit to determine the winner.  With 4 of the 9 teams correctly grading 8 of the 10 boards, the total time of grading broke the four-way tie.  Hancock Lumber’s Ryefield, Maine team took the trophy based on their time of 2 minutes and 8 seconds, with DiPrizio Pine only 6 seconds behind to place second.  This was the Ryefield mill’s second team championship since the competition began in 2004.

“Change can be a good thing and our new tournament format for this year’s competitions seemed to bring additional life to the event while increasing each participant’s opportunity to show their grading skills,” stated Jeff Easterling, President of NELMA.

The final Championship and Consolation brackets are posted here.

NELMA would like to thank Marcella Perry of DiPrizio Pine and her personnel for their gracious hospitality, the wonderful lunch, and use of the mill’s facilities for this year’s Eastern White Pine competition, their 3rd time to host the event in the past 12 years.

Hancock Lumber – Pittsfield, Maine mill Individual Winners: Bill Badger (1st Place), Wilbur Reynolds (4th Place), Garret Blair (8th Place), Cory Price (6th Place), and Chris Goode (Consolation Bracket Champion)

Photos from the event:

Matt Chesley 2nd place
Matt Chesley of DiPrizio Pine (2nd Place)
Cornel Berry 3rd Place
Cornel Berry of Pleasant River Lumber – Hancock, Maine (3rd Place)


Paul Angelone 5th place
Paul Angelone of Madison Lumber Mill (5th Place)


Nathan Edwards 7th place
Nathan Edwards of Hancock Lumber Company – Ryefield Mill (7th Place)


1st Place Team - Hancock Ryefield
2015 Team Champion with Bronze Hammer Trophy – Hancock Lumber Company – Ryefield, Maine


Team Grading Limington
Limington Lumber Team Grading


Team Grading Madison Lumber
Madison Lumber Mill Team Grading


Team Grading Mill River
Glen Hibbard of Mill River Lumber in the Team Grading Competition


Team Grading PL Sanford2
Team Grading by the Pleasant River Pine – Sanford, Maine graders (Paul Carpenter and Alex Jewett)


Team Grading Hancock Pittsfield
Team Grading by Hancock Lumber Company – Pittsfield, Maine graders


Team Grading Hancock Ryefield
The winning grader team in action from Hancock Lumber’s Ryefield mill


Matt & Don Plotting
NELMA’s Director of Inspection Services, Matt Pomeroy, and Lumber Program Coordinator, Don Pendergast preparing 10 Competition boards for the Finals



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