TFS Pit Vipers Going to World BBQ Championship

Tallulah Falls - Tallulah Falls School’s very own Pit Vipers barbecue club will be heading to Kansas to compete in the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) World Championship later this year.

“I received an email and it was asking me to apply,” said club sponsor Thomas Tilley. “It was from the KCBS, the Kansas City Barbeque Society and they’re the largest organization for barbecue in the world.”

The Pit Vipers were founded in early 2018, “and it was an accident,” Tilley said. “I had 12 seniors who wanted to do something like that, so we went with it.”

Since then, the Pit Vipers finished last season ranking 4th in the state (amateur division) including four consecutive Top 10 finishes with two third-place finishes and a Grand Championship. 

The Pit Vipers won at “Peaches & Pigs” in Kennesaw on Aug. 24, 2019. The team finished the season with Georgia Barbecue Championship (GBC) rankings of fourth in chicken, third in ribs, and fourth in pork. 

The competition is set to be held on Nov. 13-14, 2020 in Mayetta, Kansas.

“They’re planning on 500 teams total,” Tilley said. “There’s going to be quite a few from Europe and maybe one from New Zealand.”

Tilley stated that his team will have to prep chicken, pork ribs, and turkey. “Turkey will be our first competition doing that,” Tilley noted.

Tilley went on to say that he explained the significance to his students. “How many students in high school, and we have one middle schooler, that competes on a world stage, in any endeavor,” Tilley said. “They’re competing on a world stage and it’s an honor, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”

“I was so excited for the kids, I couldn’t sleep,” Tilley exclaimed. “I called every one of them. They were pretty excited.”

Before the Pit Vipers take the world stage, they will compete in other competitions Tilley notes. 

“We will be looking at getting a few practice runs in at local barbecue competitions in August and October,” Tilley said. 

If your mouth is watering for some of the Pit Viper’s barbecue, the public will have a chance to do some tasting at the Hawgin’ On Lanier contest. The competition is set to start on July 31 and run through August 1. It will be held at Laurel Park in Gainesville.

Members include:
- Senior Darren Fortner of Demorest
- Senior AJ Hayes of Cornelia
- Senior Garrett Hunter of Talllulah Falls
- Junior Cainan Yaskiewicz of Franklin, NC  
- Junior Ty Tilley of Tallulah Falls
- Freshman Abigail Hunter of Tallulah Falls 
- Seventh grader Teryk Tilley of Tallulah Falls   

Photo provided by TFS