Parker Schmidgall deliberately chose a tough category with limited competitors for his season in the Hancock High School Business Professionals of America chapter. Schmidgall finished 27th of 45 competitors in the nation recently in the C Plus Plus computer programming category.

Schmidgall's success is only one of the highlights of national competition.

The BPA chapter received the top place in the nation for community involvement. The BPA's Network Design team earned third at nationals. Third place the highest finish of any Hancock BPA team in the seven years its existed. Members Pahl, Amber Hausmann, Alexis Staples, Morgan Kisgen and Rylie Morrow each received Torch awards which are national ambassador awards related to community involvement.

Schmidgall sat in a room with other competitors during national competition. Each had their own computer and they were given a program to write and complete within 90 minutes.

"I tried to make sure I did what I could do. I didn't waste time thinking of other competitors," Schmidgall said.

Schmidgall didn't face any competitors in the regional competition and only five at state but that didn't surprise him. "It is a hard category," Schmidgall said.

He also chose the category because his older brother Mason had competed in it while in high school. Schmidgall said there is some incentive to do better than his brother at all levels of competition but, "I don't know if I will surpass him."

Mason did help his younger brother throughout the season.

"You always want to do well. You want to be competitive," Schmidgall said.

For stories on a top finish and a third place finish for the Hancock BPA chapter, click these links:,