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Davenport's eagle soars to first in state
Eastside Elementary student Matthew Davenport soared to a win during BETA Club state competition. His metal sculpture of an American Bald Eagle swooped down to snatch first place.

A brotherly competition at Eastside Elementary could end with two national BETA convention champi-ons in a row.
Matthew Davenport brought home a first place in the Division Two Sculpture Category during a state competition held Nov. 19-21 at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. His metal American Bald Eagle sculpture weighs over 100 pounds, has a wing span of 4 feet, and perched on its stand is 5 feet tall.
He will now ascend to national competition in June 2018 where he will be pitted against other state winners.
Inspiration came from the internet.
“I was looking around on Google and I saw this,” said Davenport. “On Pinterest, it was coming down and grabbing a rabbit. I wanted to make it, but without the rabbit. I worked on it for a couple weeks.”
Among other aspects, the eagle’s wings are made of butter knives, spoons make up the tapered tail, the head is a trailer hitch ball, fork prongs are around the head, and its beak is a pair of pliers.
Last year, his brother, Aaron Davenport, brought home first place at the state and national competi-tions with a ram sculpture made from scrap metal.
Matthew admitted a friendly competition exists between him and his brother. He offered a smile when asked about the sibling rivalry.
“Yes,” he said. “There is.”
Approximately 30 students went to competition. Six were recognized with second-place finishers also getting to advance to national competition.
Rounding out other awards:
• Haley Prater, second place in Division One Wreath Category.
• Baylee Norrod and Macie Bush, second place in Division One Advertising Design.
• Braeden Rich, third place in Division One Recyclable Art.
• Nevaeh Throckmorton, third place in Division One Pencil Sketch.
• Sabastain Aughinbaugh and Hunter Knight, fourth place Division Two T-Shirt Design.
“We are very proud of our boys and girls for working very hard,” said Mandy Blankenship, a BETA sponsor. “We had a lot of support from our parents. Actually, we couldn’t have done this without them. We had a very good group of kids that went to competition. We are very proud of every one of them.”
BETA club is also sponsored by Rachel Livesay, Lisa Rowland, Angela Brock and Matthew Hickey.
The 2018 national competition will be held in Savannah, Ga.