Sisters' favorite lumberjack star David Green is turning pro and will start the new year out on the roster of the 2011 STIHL Timbersports Series.
Green was the two-time Western Regional Champion as a college competitor, and fought hard at this summer's STIHL Collegiate Series Championship held in Salem at the Oregon State Fair. It was the silver anniversary affair for the sport.
A momentary loss of concentration in the stock saw event cost him dearly with a disqualification for the event, dropping him behind eventual winner Logan Scarborough in the tight points race.
Green eventually finished with a respectable third place overall, coming in first or second in all segments on the final day's competition.
"This is a real validation of all the hard work, and to be recognized is a big honor," said Green. "I was so disappointed with my mistake at the championship, cutting over that line and getting DQ'd, and this is a chance to redeem myself and fight on among the best.
"I'm ranked about 35th in the United States right now and seventh in the NW region," he said. "This has been my dream and goal all along. My very first thought years ago was to be on ESPN with those guys in a timber-sports finals. This competition is very much sought after by every competitor in the world. To be in it is to realize you've come a long way and made it to the top."
Green first got news of his acceptance from a friend, and didn't believe it until he hightailed it down to the mailbox to tear open the letter.
"I saw my name and ranking and was pretty excited," he said. "The first qualifier round is on March 25 in San Luis Obispo, California."
Green realizes that he has his work cut out for him.
"Sure, I made it to the pro ranks, but I still have a long way to go to prove myself. It's a whole new game now," he said. "If I make it past California, the semi-finals will be back in Salem at the State Fair again in August. The STIHL organizers loved the response and the great turnout last summer."
The affable lumberjack champ is taking his honors seriously and ramping up the fitness regimen in anticipation of his debut as a pro.
"I'm trying to train but it's not easy in all this snow," Green said. "They changed the opening qualifier this year to March, and for a majority of the competitors it's very inconvenient. This is wintertime. If you drive by my house right now you'll see all my equipment sitting in the snow. So I'll go out and chop a little bit and hope I'm good enough to go in March and put on a respectable show. That's all I can wish for."