By Grace Caldwell
Wow, this has been a busy spring for me. There is so much to write about that I’m not sure where to begin. Our fishing team held several fundraisers in February and March this year. We held our first fishing expo and a spaghetti dinner to help support the team. These funds help balance costs for the state tournament and other important events throughout the year.
Landon Harrington and I were selected for the Bassmaster All-State team for 2017. We were so proud to have both recipients come from our school again this year. It is an honor to be selected for the All-State team even though we were not selected for the All-American because just being recognized for all the hard work, community service, and fishing abilities makes us want to continue to achieve our goals. The team fished the West Virginia State High School Fishing tournament April 30 that was held on Stonewall Lake in Roanoke, W.V. The weather was beautiful, but many teams blanked, including mine.
We did have a junior team place second to advance to the Junior Nationals and the high school team placed third. I am very excited for the junior team of Destiny Parsell (yes, a girl), Riley Albanese, and boat captain Carl Smith and hope they do well. This was the first time that their captain had fished this area of water and Destiny’s first time fishing a state tournament. Carl is a river-shallow water- jet boat territory fisherman, so he doesn’t fish lakes very often. I have fished adult tournaments with Carl and his brother Norm is my high school captain.
The third-place high school team consisted of Landon Harrington, Sam Ambrose, and their captain Shane Ambrose. There was a creel limit of bass over 18 inches, so they had to cull a big bass, which was heartbreaking, but those were the rules. I didn’t do too well myself. The fishing was hard because the fish were spawning and didn’t seem interested in anything I had. It was a rough, hard, hot, long day and 36 out of 70 teams didn’t catch a single fish.
It will go down as a learning experience for me and there will always be another tournament. My partner, Katy Hoffman and captain, Norman will review our strategies and discuss what we could have changed and go from there. We will get our MOJO back. With summer arriving, my job as a lifeguard will begin soon and time will fly by. I am looking forward to attending Nationals this year to support and cheer on our junior team and fish a few club tournaments. In a few months, I will begin my final year of high school and that is a strange feeling. I look forward to all the challenges the new year will bring and I can only hope that includes big wins for our team.