By Max Hrenda
Sometimes high school students will draw a line when it comes to how much effort they’re willing to put in.
Then there are some like Blake Walsh, who will draw more than one. Many more.
On March 17, Blake won first place in the technical sketching and application division of Tennessee’s Technical Skills Application competition.
Now, the Hampton High senior is waiting to represent himself, his school, and his state on the national stage.
“I really don’t know if it’s sunk in yet,” Blake said. “When I took the sketching test, I never thought I could beat all those kids down there. It’s really unbelievable.”
For HHS drafting and engineering instructor Daniel Arnett, Blake’s success is actually quite believable.
“He’s very, very active,” Arnett said. “It’s a real accomplishment to have a student work hard enough and have the drive and want to succeed.”
In addition to drive, want, and work ethic, Blake needed a good bit of skill to advance, as well. Technical sketching and application might be drafting in its purest form. There are no rulers or protractors or tools of any kind; the image comes from the drafter’s mind and memory.
“It’s just grid paper, a pencil, and an eraser,” Blake said. “The more you do it, the more second nature it becomes.”
In the TSA competition, contestants were asked to sketch what is known as an oblique cavalier drawing, which, according to Blake, is “a fancy name to set up the drawing.”