Mario Hernandez Wins the 2021 South Texas Regional Series
Earns title, “Best Bricklayer in South Texas”
Converse, TX – He laid 696 brick in only one hour! Mason Mario Hernandez and mason tender Gerson Lux with Ranch Masonry in Houston, TX teamed up to earn the title, “Best Bricklayer in South Texas.” Hernandez and Lux beat out 7 other local teams, officially winning their shot to compete on the biggest stage in masonry, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500, in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete Expo in January 2022.
To qualify for the World Championship, hundreds of teams from across North America will battle to win one of 20 individual regional series events, proving they belong on the national stage. Each team, consisting of one mason and one mason tender, will be given an hour to build the tallest and best 26-foot-long brick wall they can, with as few errors as possible. One winning team from each region will advance to compete for over $125,000 in cash and prizes (including a new Ford F-250 4×4 Truck, Kubota RTV-X1140) and the title, “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
Hernandez qualified for the World Championship in his first ever attempt. Not only did he lay enough brick to win, the 51-year-old journeyman laid one of the highest brick totals of the entire regional season, immediately making him a threat to win it all in January. But if it weren’t for some friendly pressure from his peers at Ranch Masonry, Hernandez likely would not have competed, his boss Arturo Garcilazo said, “he thought he was past his prime, but he is our head foreman one of our best masons, we knew he could do it.” Hernadez will be joining the reigning World Champion, David Chavez, also with Ranch Masonry, in just a few short months. Chavez, a humble man of few words took the time to tell SPEC MIX, “I’m happy for him and am looking forward to some friendly competition.”
Hernandez and Lux also won the coveted SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN prize, which goes to the mason with most “sellable-wall.” All-in-all they left Converse with $900 along with a free trip to Las Vegas, a 4′ Stabila Level, $200 Blaklader gift certificate, $200 gift certificate from Ford and a Marshalltown ceremonial trowel and tool bag.
Second place went to mason Jesus Perez Jimenez and mason tender Jorge Guerra, with Ranch Masonry in Houston, TX with 560 total brick. For their efforts, the team took home $350, a 4′ Stabila level and a Marshalltown tool bag.
Third place went to mason Olegarid Sanchez and mason tender Juan Hernandez of Shadrock & Williams in San Antonio, TX with a brick count of 475, for their efforts, the team took home $200, a 4′ Stabila level and a Marshalltown tool bag.
Immediately following the journeyman competition, area masonry apprentices and high school students had a chance to showcase their skills in the JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500. Designed to be an abbreviated version of the main event, the junior bricklayer showcases the future of masonry. Each apprentice leaves with a prize in hand, but only one is named the region’s best apprentice, a title which could go a long way when being considered by contractors for future employment.
Mason Sebastian Fernandez with Groesbeck Masonry in San Antonio, TX won the apprentice event with a brick count of 86, taking home $250 cash and a $150 gift certificate from Blaklader.
Mason Jacob Avila with Grand Prairie, ISD in Grand Prairie, TX won the High School event with a brick count of 92, taking home $200 cash.
As workforce development becomes the primary battle cry for the skilled trades, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 is a tool designed to create interest from a new generation of masons in the rewards and opportunities possible in masonry and construction.
The 20th annual SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship will be held January 19th, 2022 at the World of Concrete expo in Las Vegas. Prizes total more than $125,000 and include a new Ford F-250 4×4 Super Duty truck, Kubota RTV-X1140, Multiquip Mortar Mixer, and other prizes from IQ Power Tools, Stabila, Marshalltown, STIHL, Blaklader, Iron Age Footwear and Belden Brick.
2021 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 SOUTH TEXAS REGIONAL RESULTS
|1ST PLACE||MARIO HERNANDEZ||GERSON LUX||RANCH MASONRY||HOUSTON, TX||656 BRICK||$500|
|TOP CRAFTSMAN||MARIO HERNANDEZ||GERSON LUX||RANCH MASONRY||HOUSTON, TX||656 BRICK||$400|
|2ND PLACE||JESUS PEREZ JIMENEZ||JORGE GUERRA||RANCH MASONRY||HOUSTON, TX||560 BRICK||$350|
|3RD PLACE||OLEGARID SANCHEZ||JUAN HERNANDEZ||SHADROCK & WILLIAMS||SAN ANTONIO, TX||475 BRICK||$200|
2021 JR SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 SOUTH TEXAS REGIONAL RESULTS – APPRENTICE LEVEL
|1ST PLACE||SEBASTIAN FERNANDEZ||GROESBECK MASONRY||SAN ANTONIO, TX||86 BRICK||$250|
|2ND PLACE||JOEL SANCHEZ||BRAZOS MASONRY||WACO, TX||86 BRICK||$150|
|3RD PLACE||SADAT GUTIERREZ||DALLAS COLLEGE||DALLAS, TX||85 BRICK||$100|
2021 JR SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 SOUTH TEXAS REGIONAL RESULTS – HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
|1ST PLACE||JACOB AVILA||GRAND PRAIRIE ISD||GRAND PRAIRIE, TX||92 BRICK||$200|
|2ND PLACE||ERNESTO TENTORY||BRYAN ISD||BRYAN, TX||63 BRICK||$100|
|3RD PLACE||ALEJANDRO MENDOZA||GRAND PRAIRIE ISD||GRAND PRAIRIE, TX||57 BRICK||$75|
ONE MORE CHANCE TO QUALIFY
The new Wild Card Challenge will send additional Regional Series competitors to Las Vegas for the World Championship! At the end of the regional season, the bricklayers that post the top adjusted brick counts could win a FREE ride to Vegas and chance at becoming the 2022 World’s Best Bricklayer!