Georgetown teen's hog calling brings home the bacon (w/ video)

Georgetown teen's hog calling brings home the bacon (w/ video)

GEORGETOWN — Andrew Metheney doesn't know much about raising hogs, but he knows how to call them.

The Georgetown teen is in hog heaven this week after winning the hog-calling contest at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield on Sunday. The rookie beat out three others, including 10-time champion and 25-year contest veteran Chris Karr of Seymour.

"Some people are good at jumping rope, and there's me, making noises," said Metheney, who didn't hone his "soo-ee soo-ee" skills on a hog farm. "It was always just a funny pig squeal noise I make."

Actually, the townie doesn't even live on a farm. He has worked on a farm, he said, and has a friend in Chrisman who has pigs.

No, Metheny mostly mastered his hog call while horsing around, sometimes in school at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School, from which he graduated last May.

You won't find hog calling in the list of extracurriculars there, but Metheney is known around the school by teachers and other students for his hog call, which he has let rip in the hallways, even in class.

It didn't go over so well once in language arts teacher LaDonna Hackler's classroom, when Metheney didn't realize there was still one student finishing a test. Metheney said he had to stay after school and clean desks.

But Hackler said she was so tickled when she heard that Metheney had won the contest.

"I was so proud of him. It is a special talent," Hackler said.

Metheney said he and Drayton Cast, a classmate and good friend, like to joke around and make silly noises, and one day last spring, Cast encouraged him to do his hog call in Kris Barth's history class.

After his impromptu performance, Barth told Metheney about the hog-calling contest at the state fair, which Barth remembered from a 2010 contest video that went viral.

Metheney wasn't too sure he wanted to enter the world of hog-calling competition, but after some coaxing by his mom, the whole family and his friend, Drayton, headed to the fair last weekend in hopes Andrew would be among the contestants.

Metheney, who didn't practice and wanted to "wing it," said he was rather shocked to see the size of the crowd at the stage for the husband- and hog-calling contest, which is judged by a panel based on originality, appeal, volume and clarity, and assurance.

"I can't believe we are doing this," he said he told Drayton before he was called up on stage.

Metheney was shocked again when he was announced the winner and handed an oversized $100 check, presented by another local, State Fair Queen Abby Foster of Oakwood.

"My favorite part about it was the big check," said Metheney, who is already making plans to return and defend his title next year.

Until then, he's working a part-time job, volunteering at the Georgetown Fire Department and starting his freshmen year at Danville Area Community College this fall with plans to be a criminal justice major.

He wants to go whole hog next year, and design a T-shirt to wear on stage and hone a couple more calls.

"I figure if you're gonna have fun," he said, "you might as well go all out."

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