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Plumbing runs in his blood
Perez takes home state title, headed to nationals
May 5, 2023
Everybody knows the UIL competitions, sports and academic events that go all the way to the state level.
One competition most people don’t immediately think of is plumbing, which Rider junior Gideon Perez recently took home the CenterSkills USA state championship and is advancing to nationals.
Plumbing isn’t usually the first class to come to mind when a high school student is picking their schedule, but according to his plumbing teacher Danny Cozby, Perez is a natural.
“He’s a hard worker and strives to excel at anything he does,” said Cozby, who teaches different plumbing classes at the CEC. “He is actually a fifth-generation plumber, you might say it’s in his blood.”
Perez one day hopes to take over the company currently run by his grandfather. He has been participating in CenterSkills USA competitions for two years and has taken plumbing classes since seventh grade.
“For the competition I had to do a rough end, so like all the plumbing that goes into the house before the drywall and everything else is put up,” Perez said.
It may not seem immediately obvious what exactly happens in plumbing class, but it’s not too different from any other regular classes.
“We do everything from typical book work, to working with trainers, a little bit of everything, because you have to do both to be successful at it,” Perez said.
To take home the state trophy isn’t an easy feat, it takes intelligent and talented people like Perez.
“Gideon is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, a straight-A student and is dedicated to achieving his goals,” Cozby said. “He is an excellent student and I am glad to have had him in my plumbing program.”
Despite Perez having some worries, he won the state title and now prepares to head off to nationals on June 19-23 in Atlanta.
“We knew he had done a great job on his hands-on project, and his resume was top-notch, but he wasn’t too sure about all those tests,” Cozby said. “We’re always hoping to win the gold and when they called out Wichita Falls and Gideon Perez for the gold medal, the whole bunch went crazy.”
Gideon plans to play college football and pursue a master’s license in plumbing and achieve a degree in business.