Southern Hospitality

Moving on to the US Championships


Josh Hussey of NC State claims Southern Collegiate Qualifier title;
Paul Cogar, Mel Lentz, Matt Slingerland and Mike Slingerland
take top honors in the Southern Pro Qualifier

AUBURN, Ala. – The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series presented by Ram Trucks launched the 2013 season with the Collegiate and Professional Southern Qualifiers hosted by Auburn University Friday, March 15. For the second consecutive year NC State took the top Collegiate Qualifier honors as Josh Hussey, an NC State senior, took first place in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Southern Collegiate Qualifier, advancing to the Collegiate Championship at The Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., June 7-9, 2013.

The top pros who placed first to fourth respectively in the Southern Professional Qualifier were Mel Lentz of Diana, W.Va., Matt Slingerland of Rockwell, NC, Paul Cogar of Diana, W.Va. and Mike Slingerland from Rockwell, NC. The fourth and final qualifying spot came down to a tie-breaking stock saw-off between Mike Slingerland and Andrew Mattison of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., where Slingerland out-sawed Mattison by mere fractions of a second to advance to the Championship. Only the top four pros advance to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series U.S. Championship in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting competition to kick off the 2013 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series season,” said Brad Sorgen, producer of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series. “Auburn was a great host providing the perfect atmosphere for the Pro and Collegiate Southern Qualifier.”

NC State’s Hussey, 23 from Robbins, NC, took the top Southern Collegiate Qualifier spot out of 14 collegiate competitors after placing in the top four in every discipline. Jack Lipkin from the University of Tennessee placed second in the competition and Robey Coffey from Virginia Tech took third. In addition to advancing to the Collegiate Championship, the competitor with the most cumulative points also earned a $1,000 scholarship from STIHL for his school.

In the Professional Southern Qualifier, Mel “King of the Lumberjacks” Lentz started out strong, taking first place in the spring board and standing block chop, and stayed consistent throughout the competition, which ultimately placed him in the top spot. Second place finisher Matt Slingerland had a rough start but recovered nicely, placing in the top three in the final four disciplines. You can view a full list of results from the college and pro events on our Results Page for the Southern Qualifier.

ESPNU, Outdoor Channel and TUFF TV cameras were on site to capture the competition. These networks provide a national platform to not only highlight the competition, but also spotlight the hosting schools and their forestry programs in the Professional and Collegiate Series competition shows. The airing schedule for the Southern Qualifier collegiate and pro events on Outdoor Channel can be found here. ESPNU air dates and times for the 2013 season will be announced at a later date.

For the first time this season, fans are able to get in on the action, choosing which pro lumberjacks they think will perform the best in actual competitions, including the Southern Qualifier. Prizes include STIHL chainsaws and a trip for two to the World Championship in Germany. To play the ultimate fantasy sports game and view the Southern Qualifier leaderboard, visit

  • Derek Knutson: Stock Saw

  • Derek Knutson & Andrew Mattison: Single Buck

  • Logan Scarborough: Underhand Chop

  • Daryl Weakland: Hot Saw

  • Matt & Mike Slingerland: Single Buck

  • Louisiana Tech: Standing Block

  • Logan Scarborough: Stock Saw

  • University of Kentucky: Stock Saw

  • NC State University: College Fans

  • Louisiana Tech: College Fans