Photo credit STIHL TIMBERSPORTS®. Haywood Community College Forest Management Technology student Darby Hand recently finished fourth in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Collegiate Championship in Milwaukee. He is pictured during a recent event.

Haywood Community College Forest Management Technology student Darby Hand recently finished fourth in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Collegiate Championship in Milwaukee. He finished second place in the underhand chop and third in the stock saw event.

Hand took first place in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Collegiate Series Mid-Atlantic Qualifier hosted by HCC this past spring. Professional competitor Matt Slingerland is his coach. 

Hand grew up immersed in the world of timbersports. At the age of four, he began logrolling. By 16 was competing in several events. Each year, he watched the world championships.

After graduating from high school, Hand started a four-year school but decided it was not a good fit for him. Last year, he made a move to Sevierville to work at Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud. He trains every day then heads into work to compete in three shows.

“It is a cool experience to get in front of the crowd,” Hand says. “I love hearing them cheer us on.”

However, Hand realizes that a body is not cut out for the strenuous life of timbersports indefinitely. At the Lumberjack Feud, he met HCC alumni and lumberjack standout Logan Hawks who told him about the forestry program at the College.

“I have never felt so engaged at college,” Hand says of his classes at HCC. “It was one of the biggest problems I had as a student at a four-year school.”

Driving across state lines to come class doesn’t bother Hand. “The view never gets boring,” he says.

As Hand continues his studies at HCC, he looks forward to competing as part of the HCC team throughout the coming year. 

For more information on the College’s forest management technology program, visit haywood.edu or email hcc-advising@haywood.edu.