DEARBORN — Oxford High School in Oxford took first place in the Michigan state final of the annual Ford-AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, held Wednesday at the Macomb Community College Expo Center in Warren.

Joshua English and Michael Doell, both 17 years old and Oxford residents, won top honors for perfectly diagnosing and repairing electrical and mechanical “bugs” deliberately placed in a 2013 Ford Focus SE in just 29 minutes,10 seconds. Their instructor is Dan Balsley.

The winning team will compete for additional scholarship dollars and the chance to kick start their automotive careers when they represent Michigan in the national Ford-AAA Student Auto Skills Competition at Ford World Headquarters on June 11.

Matt Schultz and Jimmy Ritzenheim of Dickinson Iron Technical Educational Center in Kingsford placed second in the contest. Their instructor is Richard Henrion.

Third-place honors went to Ethan Westfield and Coby Nykerk of Careerline Technology Center in Holland. Their instructor is Nathan Vannest. Justin Sly and Joseph Strobbe of Saline High School took home top honors in the written exam of the contest. Their instructor is Tim Timoszyk.

The teams competing today earned their places in the state contest by outscoring other Michigan high school teams during an Internet-based exam in February.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition that offers millions in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians.  More than 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the National Finals.


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