JAY – Fresh off regional competition, members of the Jay High School Envirothon Team are preparing to compete at the state level.

They expect the contest to be harder and their opponents just as eager to win as they are; there will be 18 teams at the state event.

“We have to keep studying up on four areas: forestry, soil, water and wildlife,” team Captain Joe Gagnon, a junior, said Monday.

Not only do team members have to work hard and study, freshman Joey Roy said Monday, they have to learn how to work as a team.

The Jay team placed third in the Western Maine Regional Envirothon on May 4 at Beaver Park in Lisbon, making it eligible for the state finals.

First place in the regional event went to Edward Little High School in Auburn and second to Dirigo High School in Dixfield.

An envirothon covers field tests in forestry, soils, aquatics and wildlife and in the regional event, it also covered a current issue with a problem to solve.

The Jay team nailed a perfect score in the current issue about water stewardship in a changing climate, team adviser Rob Taylor said Friday.

One of the scorers wrote “When you get out of college come work with (the) environmental agency,” Taylor said of team members.

Their studies and involvement encourage them to go on toward a career in these fields, he said.

“It can lead to careers for them; it’s a lot of very good science,” Taylor said.

This year’s team is very young, he said, with Gagnon as the only returning team member.

Members meet on Sunday nights to practice and review materials.

They won’t have as many resources to use in the state competition as they did during the field tests for regional competition, Roy said.

This year’s team held up Jay’s record of earning a spot to compete at the state level for the seventh year in a row.