STIHL coming to Outdoor Channel
It’s often been called “the original extreme sport.” Now in its 27th season, the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series attracts the world’s best lumberjack athletes in a competition based on historic logging techniques. The Series is seen by millions of viewers annually in more than 62 countries, and this year it’s coming to Outdoor Channel.
"We’ve produced the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series since 1985 to determine the most-skilled lumberjack athlete,” said Brad Sorgen, producer of the competition. “As the wood-chopping action ramps up again this March with one of our most competitive fields yet, fans from all over the country will witness the top professional lumberjack athletes chop and saw for a slice of the U.S. championship title.
Heading the U.S. field will be Arden Cogar Jr., a civil defense trial attorney from West Hamlin, W. Va., who returns for his 25th season to defend his title as the 2011 STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series U.S. champion.
The competition consists of six professional lumberjack disciplines — hot saw, single buck, springboard chop, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop.
In 2003, STIHL® created the Collegiate Series to develop future U.S. pro competitors. Since then, the it has grown from eight schools that first year to 62 competing college and university lumberjack teams this season, in the 10th anniversary of the Collegiate Series.
College teams compete in four disciplines — single buck, stock saw, standing block chop and underhand chop. The five regional qualifiers and U.S. championship events are held in conjunction with the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Pro Series.
Daniel Jones, a recent graduate of Haywood Community College in Waynesville, N.C., won the 2011 collegiate championship and earned an automatic qualifying berth in the 2012 pro series.
Three sets of father-and-son lumberjacks will be competing in the professional ranks this season, including Paul and Matt Cogar of Diana, W. Va., Mel and Jason Lentz of Diana, W. Va., and Mike and Matt Slingerland of Rockwell, N.C.
The U.S. STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® championships will be held June 1-3 at Pigeon Forge, Tenn., where Rob Scheer, president and CEO of Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud, has constructed a $11 million facility that opened last August on a site that includes a 34,000-square foot arena and will provide an unprecedented stage for the pro and collegiate competitions. Pigeon Forge is one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S., as more than half of the nearly 11 million annual visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park pass through Pigeon Forge.
“I can’t think of a better place to do this,” said Brett McLeod, coach of the Paul Smith’s College (N.Y.) lumberjack team, which has sent a finalist to the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Collegiate Championships seven of the previous nine years. “They’ve just built the best TIMBERSPORTS® arena in the world. It’s going to be great for the athletes. Without a doubt this will be a world class event.”
2012 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series schedule
||N.C. State, Raleigh, NC
||Oregon State, Corvallis, Ore.
||Wis. Stevens Point, Stevens Point, Wis.
||Montgomery CC, Troy, NC
||Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
||Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.