2018-05-16 / Front Page

Maya Jane BBQ is new Boss champ

DIANA ROYAL


Maya Jane BBQ Co. of Evans was the Grand Champion at the 2018 Boss Hog State Championship Cook-off. Maya Jane BBQ Co. of Evans was the Grand Champion at the 2018 Boss Hog State Championship Cook-off. A perfect score in pork was just the tip of the sauce jar for Maya Jane BBQ. The rookie cooking team out of Evans drove out of Waynesboro Saturday afternoon as the Grand Champions of the Boss Hog State Championship Cook-Off.

Team leader Mark Wetherell says he's still in shock following the KCBS-sanctioned event, only his fourth since he entered the world of serious competitive BBQ-ing just a few years ago.

"My 270 Smokers were holding the temps they were supposed to; meats were getting done when I expected them to," Wetherell says, recalling how he'd banked on his gut instincts whenever problems arose. When their name was called for number one in pork, it was their first KCBS call ever, and it was a perfect 180 score. "I was beyond thrilled with that and said to my wife, 'Ok, well all of this was worth it then.'"

They'd go on to take a ninth place in brisket but with no call for either chicken or ribs, Wetherell says he didn't think they had a shot at the top prize.

"It was a total shock," he says. "I recall the judge saying, 'I don't know what's going on in Evans, Georgia,' and I kind of got a little buzz for a half second, like 'Huh? No way?!' but I knew the Killer B's got Reserve so I was thinking Quemeisters maybe? Then he called Maya Jane BBQ Co.!"

Partnered with his wife, Ciara, his parents, Larry and Barb, and friend Rob Koptis, Wetherell says maybe he's finally proven to himself that he can cook with some of the big boys.

"There were several amazing and accomplished teams at the Boss Hog so it feels really good that I won," he says. "We are a small team. I had to borrow a friend's trailer; we had two pop up tents, slept outside in a couple of gravity chairs and had to endure the heat. So, yes, finally winning something means a lot."

Wetherell has been competing in backyard type contests in the CSRA for several years and won the Harlem King of the Grill in 2016. He hopped on the KCBS circuit for the first time in 2016 at the Papa Joe Banjo-B-Que and attended his first Boss just last year.

Though he's done just two competitions a year, he says The Boss has given him some encouragement to try a few more. "These contests are fun, but it's a lot of work for me as I don't have a trailer and the rigs like some of the bigger teams do," he says, adding that one thing's for sure - they'll be back in Waynesboro in 2019. "We love The Boss! It's a well-run event that is fun for the whole family."

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

Grand Champion = Maya Jane BBQ Co., Evans

Reserve Grand Champion = Killer B’s BBQ, Evans

Third Place = Ultimate Tailgaters BBQ, Aiken, S.C.

First Place Chicken = Midnight Burn, Pisgah Forest, N.C.
First Place Pork Ribs = Bareknuckles BBQ, Oxford
First Place Pork = Maya Jane BBQ Co., Evans (with a perfect 180 score)
First Place Brisket = Ultimate Tailgaters, Aiken, S.C.

First Place, King of the Wing = Smoke This, Hickory, N.C.

First Place, Anything Strawberries = Big J and The Butts, Hephzibah

Way Down Yonder Award = Backyard Bros, Oldsmar, Fla.
Local Yokel = Slowly Butt Smokin, Waynesboro
Jus Fer Fun = Fat Guys Dream, Grovetown

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