2017-05-17 / Front Page

Boog-A-Lou Smoke Crew takes The Boss

By Diana Royal


Tina Zondervan, Travis Milliander and Mark Zondervan take a ride with Boss Hog after claiming the 2017 Boss Hog Championship Cook-off Grand Champion title. Tina Zondervan, Travis Milliander and Mark Zondervan take a ride with Boss Hog after claiming the 2017 Boss Hog Championship Cook-off Grand Champion title. It all came down to a coin toss.

Mark Zondervan, team leader for Boog- A- Lou Smoke Crew, says he was just about to fold his chair up and head back to the tent. “Then,” he laughs, “I almost fell out my chair. I was in total shock.”

Zondervan explains that as the top teams headed down to claim their prizes, judges announced there’d been a tie. “They used a computer generated coin toss to determine the winner,” he says. “We really thought it was over, until they said, ‘And all the way from Crawfordville, Florida.’”

They’d been certain that they didn’t come out on top, pulling fifth in ribs and second in bris- ket but getting no calls in either chicken or pork. “We thought maybe we’d finish around eighth place … but if you’re gonna win, well this is the way to do it,” Zondervan said following his biggest accomplishment on the barbeque circuit.

And last weekend produced a lot of firsts for the three-man crew consisting of Zondervan, his wife, Tina, and son, Travis Milliander. This was the trio’s first competition of the year, their first trip to Waynesboro, their first grand championship title and, according to Zondervan when he plucked the Boss’ hat during their victory lap in the coveted car, Mr. Hog himself said, “Well, that’s never happened before.”

Boog-A-Lou has been competing for a mere three years, even though Zondervan says BBQ Sundays have been a must at his house forever. “Then my son watched those shows on TV and said, ‘This is right up your alley.’ So we gave it a try,” he recalls. They finished 30th out of 65 teams in their very first competition. “I told my son, I don’t like finishing like that. We are just gonna have to get better.” By the second contest they were hooked. “I sold my boat and bought a barbeque trailer,” Zondervan says.

The barbeque rookie says he was honored to tie with Killer B’s BBQ, a veteran team that’s picked up a grand championship at The Boss before and has been honored as the country’s top cooks on the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour.

“I sure am glad we won though. This feels good,” he says, adding that Waynesboro will be on their list from now on. “This is probably one of the most organized events we have been to. It’s amazing how well we were all taken care of. We’ll be back every year, especially now with a title to defend.”

BOSS HOG WINNERS

Grand Champion – Boog-ALou Smoke Crew, Crawfordville, Fla.

Reserve Grand Champion – Killer B’s BBQ, Evans

1st Place Chicken – Atlanta BBQ Store, Gainesville

1st Place Ribs – Hootie Q, Winder

1st Place Pork – Bald Hawg BBQ, Simpsonville, S.C.

1st Place Brisket – Sauced BBQ, Denver, N.C.

King of the Wing Chicken Wing Contest – VFW Post 10601, Aiken, S.C.

Anything Strawberry Contest –Yes, Dear BBQ, Savannah

People’s Choice – La Da Bone (hometown) and Backwoods BBQ (out-of-town)

Local Yokel – Slowly Butt Smokin’

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