Experiencing the national tournament through my teammates
By Grace Caldwell
Summer brings with it all sorts of outdoor activities including the sun, water, picnics, family time, work, and fishing. We should always remember to take time for fishing. In June, I attended the Bassmaster Costa Junior Championship in Huntingdon, Tenn., to help support my teammates. Although I wasn’t fishing the high school championship, it was still a wonderful experience. I helped wherever I could, whether it was getting them on the lake to pre-fish, loading and restocking the boats with drinks and snacks, or sitting through registration.
I envied my teammates for earning the opportunity to fish and I would never want to take that accomplishment away from them. I don’t think they will ever forget the experience of being out on that water. It is amazing how quickly this sport has grown and the competition that is brewing. We should be thankful to all the companies that make this sport possible. I will be graduating high school next year and moving on with the sport in different ways, but the high school and junior divisions will continue to grow. For all those young enough to be a part of this, you should feel proud and excited that this is happening during our generation.
Now back to the national tournament. I loved how they allowed everyone competing to get involved from registration day, to launch, and finally during weigh-ins. It was cool to sit back and watch all this unfold. While I was at the tournament, I had the opportunity to meet and hang out with Frank Hyla and the Shimano crew. This broke up my week and allowed me to work with young children and help them learn new skills at the Shimano casting station. The entire Shimano crew was very nice and heavily involved with the youth in our sport.
I look forward to developing a future relationship with the Shimano company. I would also like to congratulate my junior teammates, Destiny Parsell and Riley Albanese and their captain, Carl Smith, on making it to the championship. I am so glad that they allowed me to be a part of their experience. Hopefully, next year I will be the one fishing and they will be cheering me on. I have one more shot and if luck is on my side, just maybe I will make it there too. So, enjoy the rest of the summer everyone and remember to always fish hard!