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Butt Burners to participate for national championship

By By Lisa Tindell
Backyard cooks around the world dream of making a name with their grilling prowess.
Atmore’s Wild Bunch Butt Burners barbecue team has a chance of making that dream come true later this month as they compete against the top grilling teams in the nation.
John and Kathy Swift, along with plenty of supporters, will be taking their techniques and equipment on the road to Lynchburg, Tenn., to participate in the 21st Annual Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
The draw is made up of teams who have won grand championship competitions across the nation and internationally.
The barbecue-cooking portion of the contest isn’t the only competition the Wild Bunch will be involved in while in Tennessee.
A dessert competition will also be part of the festivities as well, Kathy said.
Kathy said the event is a culmination of what the team has worked for since they began competing in contests across the region and the nation.
The Atmore team will be one of 63 national and 18 international teams competing for the coveted title Oct. 24.
Being invited to “The Jack,” as it is known in barbecue circles, is no easy fete. Domestic teams invited to the event must have won a state championship with more than 25 participating teams, a competition with more than 50 teams or seven contests in the past barbecue season. The selection of teams invited to the event was made last month.
Jeff Arnett, master distiller for Jack Daniels, said the event is something his company looks forward to each year.
The Wild Bunch Butt Burners have recently returned from the America Royal competition in Kansas City where they placed fourth in brisket competition and placed 58th overall in the event.
The team also placed third overall in a competition held in Louisburg, Tenn., recently, Kathy said.
The championship teams from the United States and across the globe will compete in seven categories – Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce. An additional category, Home Cookin’ from the Homeland is reserved for international teams. More than $30,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the winners.