Devils Backbone holds first-ever Lumberjack Classic
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Lumberjacks and Jills from all over the country came to Devils Backbone on Oct. 23 to compete in the first-ever Backbone Lumberjack Classic.
It was the lumberjills that dominated.
"I had a lot of folks come up to me to ask 'oh is your husband here and that's why you're here,' and I said, 'no actually, I am a competitor,'" said Martha King, a world-renowned lumberjill.
She came to the competition with one goal in mind: win.
"I'm here to compete, I'm here to win, I'm here to represent the women of the sport and grow the sport," she said.
King has been competing in timber sports for years and is the reigning U.S. women's timber sports champion, but despite her success, people still doubt her.
"I've had other people say, 'you know you should really be doing something more feminine,' and like 'I don't think girls should be chopping. Go home and start sewing or do the laundry,'" King said.
Over the years, King has learned to push past the hate, as have the other women who are up and coming in the male-dominated sport.
"There's a misconception that women really aren't a part of the sport and while it was that way many many years ago, women started to breakthrough in the sawing. I guess they got tired watching their husbands and eventually, they started picking up the axe saying, 'hey we can do this too,'" King said.
She first picked up the axe in college thanks to her father, which is a story similar to many others in the community.
Scooter Cogar also got involved in the sport because of his family.
"I went to Virginia Tech and started with their forestry club my freshman year, but I've also had family in the sport for the last 50 years," he said.
"My family has been involved in timber sports for five generations now," said Arden Cogar, Jr., Scooter's uncle. "It began with my uncles back in the 1930s and has transferred onto my father, myself and now there's four or five Cogars competing here this weekend."
For these lumberjacks, competitions like the one Saturday are a family affair, and that's what they love most about the sport.
"Being a part of this sport has kind of brought me back to my family roots and I get to travel around with some of my family that I otherwise wouldn't know," Scooter said.