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Kids sink teeth into clubs watermelon eating contest
Manteca-Lathrop Boys & Girls Club members race to eat their watermelon during a contest on Friday. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Juan Cuenca shared his secret on eating watermelon.

“I just go straight down the middle and then I chomp off from the sides,” he said Friday after winning the age 13 and older division of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manteca’s Watermelon Eating Contest.

Mark McCool, the club’s director of operations, noted the watermelons were donated locally by George Perry & Sons.

The rules were simple.

“Two hands on the watermelon – the watermelon (slice) must be touching the table. All the paint (or red part of the fruit) must be gone,” said McCool.

Cuenca, who will be attending Manteca High in the coming month as a freshman – he went to Lincoln School prior – was a first-time competitor. The local Boys and Girls Clubs have been holding this contest in the Don Stewart Memorial Playground for the past 10 summers, according to McCool.

“I like eating watermelon,” Cuenca said after his victory.

Each winner was given a choice to pick out their prize.

In the age 6 to 9 division, Ian Metcalf from Nile Garden School was the first to devour his watermelon slice.

He won a similar-type contest a year ago in Lathrop. “I don’t know – I just eat,” Metcalf said following his win.

Alan Hernandez, 6, was the other winner amongst the youngsters. “I look forward to watermelon each summer,” he said.

Dakota Dunn and Javinte Cox, who attend Shasta and Stella Brockman schools, respectively, were tops in the age 10-12 division.

Cox, 10, emerged from his table of 12 victoriously. He not only celebrated the win but even requested another slice of watermelon.