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Sledneck
01-05-2009, 10:31 AM
Local teacher wins title in state championship BBQ contest


By DONNA KELLY
News Chief staff


Published: Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 4:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 7:51 a.m.
WINTER HAVEN - When special education teacher Rob Bagby was asked to oversee Roosevelt Academy's barbecue fundraiser in 2003, little did he know he would top the list of the National BBQ Rankings several years later.

http://images.newschief.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=WN&Date=20090103&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=901030352&Ref=V1&MaxW=250&border=0
Click to enlarge (http://www.newschief.com/article/20090103/NEWS/901030352/1009/LIVING?Title=Local_teacher_wins_title_in_state_cha mpionship_BBQ_contest#) Rob Bagby shows off his Florida State BBQ championship trophy, a nearly nine foot long alligator carved out a slash pine log. Friday, January 02 , 2009.
George Aycrigg / News Chief



Bagby, who is ranked number one overall by nationalbbqrankings.com, won his first grand championship of 2009 at the Florida State Championship BBQ Contest Thursday in Felda. This means he received the highest cumulative scores from the judges in each meat category - chicken, ribs, pork and brisket.
His closely-held secret recipe garnered a $2,000 prize for the grand championship in addition to several awards in individual categories, including first place, pork, $350; second place, brisket, $300; third place, ribs, $200 and seventh place, chicken, $50.
He also brought home what is known as one of the most coveted trophies among barbecue competitors - a 9-foot alligator carved out of a slash pine tree.
"It's by far the coolest trophy I've won," said Bagby, who participated in 30 contests in 2008 that resulted in nine grand championship awards.
Bagby, who serves as the president of the 600-member Florida Barbecue Association, started hosting annual barbecue parties as a teenager.
"I would bury pork roasts in a bed of oak coals, roast a bushel or two of oysters and corn on the cob, get a keg of beer and have all my friends over for a day long party," Bagby posted on his Web site, www.swampboys.com (http://www.swampboys.com/).
When he took over the fundraisers at Roosevelt, he decided to find a better way to barbecue. So, he contacted the president of the Florida Barbecue Association, who invited him to attend the FBA Fun Cook.
He's been competing ever since.
"I'm not an athletic type of guy," Bagby said when asked what drew him into the world of competitive barbecuing. "This gives me a good competitive outlet. You get a rush out of it."
He entered his first competition, the Lakeland Pig Fest, in January 2004 and was named grand champion.
These days, he takes his barbecuing skills on the road with the help of the Swamp Boys BBQ Team, which consists of his wife, Amy, and their friends Tammy Sanders, Robin Harrison and Tim Woodford.
Dana Hillis of Lake Placid is on the board of the FBA and has a barbecue team of his own, Big Papa's Country Kitchen. Hillis and Bagby are friendly competitors who met two years ago during a contest in Sebring when Bagby walked up and introduced himself.
"He's one of the nicest people I've ever met," Hillis said.
He's so nice, Hillis said, that even the most competitive barbecue participants don't seem to mind Bagby's current seven-or eight-month winning streak.
"Nobody is tired of 'Rub' winning because he's such a nice guy," Hillis said. "Rub" is Bagby's nickname, given to him when a barbecue connoisseur misheard his name when they were introduced and called him "Rub." Because the rubs put on meat during cooking are important to those who barbecue competitively, the nickname stuck.

GratefulSmoker
01-05-2009, 10:44 AM
Great story! Definetely deserves the attention!

Scottie
01-05-2009, 10:53 AM
That picture just does not give that gator any just rewards... That thing is huge and I want to know how Rub got it in the house!!!! 8-)


Congrats again Rub!!!

Go GATORS!!!

Dale P
01-05-2009, 02:15 PM
Nice write up. Nice trophy too.

WannaBeBBQueen
01-05-2009, 02:22 PM
You rock dude!! Sweet article!! Congrats on a great year:biggrin:

bigabyte
01-05-2009, 02:25 PM
Congrats! What a cool gator.:cool:

bruskee
01-05-2009, 02:40 PM
Very cool read, congrats Rub..

Rub
01-05-2009, 02:49 PM
Thanks guys! :icon_blush:

Scotty is right, that trophy is too cool. It took 4 of us to wrassle it into the house. Hasta weigh 200+ pounds. I'll try to get a better pic of it up on my web site soon. Thanks again for the nice words...

BBQ Bandit
01-05-2009, 03:15 PM
DAYUM... Way to go!@!!!

Jacked UP BBQ
01-05-2009, 03:16 PM
I hope you have a big room for that trophy. Congrats

The_Kapn
01-05-2009, 03:28 PM
I need to get a rubber stamp or something that says--"Rub is Da Man"! :lol:

Great article for a great guy starting another great year.

TIM

Big George's BBQ
01-05-2009, 08:14 PM
Great article. Nice gator. That is a cool trophy

JohnMcD348
01-05-2009, 10:26 PM
Absolutely Fantastic Rub. Way to go.

KuyasKitchen
01-05-2009, 11:02 PM
Way to go, Rub!

Now, share some of your award-winning recipes with the rest of the class! :)

oceanpigassassins
01-06-2009, 12:14 AM
That trophy is almost as nice as your chicken trophy