The title of “Pennsylvania’s Best Bricklayer” goes to Phil Bachetti 9W9, Williamson’s masonry instructor, after coming in first place in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500’s Pennsylvania Regional Series competition at the Bricklayers Training Center, Philadelphia, recently.
Phil, working with his brother Nick Bachetti as his mason tender, laid 560 bricks in one hour.
In the Junior competition, showcasing the skills of apprentices, Ryan Fallon 2W2 and mason tender Lamont Sudler 2W2 came in first place, laying 142 bricks, giving Fallon the title of the “Region’s Best Apprentice.” Raymere Stewart 2W2 with Matt Haines 2W2 as his mason tender, came in third, laying 112 bricks.
In addition to winning a slot in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete Expo in January 2022, the Bachetti brothers also won $1,000, a 4-foot Stabila Level, a $200 Blaklader gift certificate, a $200 gift certificate from Ford, and a Marshalltown ceremonial trowel and tool bag.
Fallon and Sudler received $300 and a $150 gift certificate from Blaklader, and Stewart and Haines received $200. Stewart also won a television in a raffle.
Phil said he was nervous going into the competition because he knows many of the guys he was up against and they are all great bricklayers and some of them have won the competition in the past. He made up for this with a lot of practicing. “I’m a teacher and I don’t lay brick every day like these guys do. I didn’t want to let Williamson down or the students.
“It was a team effort. My brother is a bricklayer and I couldn’t have done so well without him. He knew exactly what I needed and had it ready for me right away. I didn’t look to see what the other guys were doing and just focused on what I was doing. All in all it was a great day for Williamson.”
Fallon 2W2 said, “It was a real honor to compete and be able to represent the school. Lamont and I were excited to learn that we would be the ones who would go on to Vegas, too. We were even more thrilled for Mr. B. and his brother who would be going to compete in the senior competition. There is some time before Jan. 19 and a lot that I need to work on to bring home the competition.”
Raymere said, “Getting the opportunity to compete in an event like the Bricklayer 500 is a huge boost to my morale and confidence. I would never have thought to compete against the best of the best. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the first place I wanted, but I am glad that it was a Williamson guy and not the others. Good luck, Ryan.”
The junior competition is designed to create interest in young people in masonry and to see the rewards and opportunities of the field.
Phil said that many people from the masonry field talked with the students about masonry and that several expressed an interest in visiting the shop to talk to the students about careers in masonry.
At the conclusion of the competition the juniors helped with the clean up.
In gratitude for Williamson’s help throughout the competition, Diener Brick Co., in Collingswood, N.J., with help from Mike Clement 8W2, a Diener sales manager, donated the leftover bricks to Williamson. Spec Mix, manufacturers of masonry products, of Eagan, Minn., donated two pallets of mortar. And, Giles J. Cannon, a masonry contractor in Collingdale, loaned the use of a truck and operator to deliver the materials.
The 20th annual Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 World Championship will be held Jan. 19, 2022, at the World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for how Phil and Nick and Ryan and Lamont do in the biggest masonry competition in the country.
Pictured are (from left to right): Ryan Fallon, 1st place Junior competition; Raymere Stewart, 3rd place Junior competition; and Phil Bachetti, “Pennsylvania’s Best Bricklayer.”