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Kansas City Barbeque Society announces its 2014 Team of the Year

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January 27, 2015

The Kansas City Barbeque Society recently held its annual end of the year banquet in Denver, with teams from every corner of the country gathering for the much-anticipated “Team of the Year” celebration, where KCBS awarded over $50,000 in prize money to winning teams. This year’s announcement was an exciting one for a team that just barely missed the title last year: The Warren County Pork Choppers of Bowling Green, Ky. 

 As the world’s largest organization for barbeque and grilling enthusiasts, earning the Kansas City Barbeque Society “Team of the Year” title is a hard fought battle. Points are accumulated on a contest-by-contest basis with a higher point value being allocated based on overall performance. The Warren County Pork Choppers competed at 38 different contests across the country, reigning in 2,936 points and nine grand championship titles throughout the 2014 season.

 “KCBS Team of the Year awards recipients are an elite fraternity in the competition barbeque world,” said Carolyn Wells, Executive Director of KCBS. “Their dedication to the sport and culinary technique serve as an admirable standard for every team, be it their first year or their 10th year competing.”  

The Warren County Pork Choppers “Team of the Year” win follows an unprecedented tiebreaker between Truebud BBQ and the Warren County Pork Choppers in 2013. In 2014, Donny Bray, pitmaster for Warren County Pork Choppers, was determined to take over as the most prestigious team in KCBS.

Though being on the competition trail almost every weekend during 2014 was exhausting for Bray and his team, he says that being able to cook every week helped his team to come out on top.

 “Consistency is key. Having a cooking program that works and sticking to it is our secret. It’s important to study flavor profiles and to understand the way barbecue competitions really work,” Bray said.

 Of course, a little healthy competition helped, too.

“We chased Truebud BBQ throughout the entire season last year. It was such a close race. We were determined to take the lead this year,” Bray said.

Bray and his team took the lead, but not without some very stiff competition from several teams.            

“There were more teams sitting in good position this year. Last year, it was an incredibly close race between the top three teams, but this year there were more teams within striking distance of the Team of the Year trophy,” Bray said.

The Warren County Pork Choppers were officially announced as the 2014 Team of the Year on Jan. 17 at the Annual KCBS Banquet in Denver. Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ landed in second place with 2852 points and the 2013 Team of the Year, Truebud BBQ, came in third with 2839 points.

As the 2015 season begins, Bray and his team are already blazing the competition trail, hoping to compete in 30-40 contests this year. 

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