Memorial High anglers qualify for Bassmaster national championship

Memorial students win back-to-back Bassmaster championships, set rods and reels to nationals

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Traditionally, when you hear of high school athletes competing for a state title, you often think of sports like football or hockey.

However, a few local athletes have had success in a growing sport across the country that doesn’t involve a field, but rather a lake.

Memorial High School students Bryce Kostman and Garin Garlie have been fishing since they were little, but the hobby has grown into more than just a game of catch and release.

“I think my old man took me out when I was four. Four years old I caught my first bass,” said Bryce Kostman. “I started when I was about 10, I think. I did my first tournament. It took a lot of prep work to get into it. Getting two wins is very lucky. There’s a little bit of skill involved, but I’ve been very fortunate.”

Now, after winning back-to-back state high school Bassmaster fishing tournaments, their rods and reels are set to tackle a new goal, nationals.

“We’re heading down to Tennessee, Kentucky on Kentucky Lake the first week of August,” said father, and boat captain Todd Kostman. “It’s so big down south, last year there was 339 teams in the national tournament in Kentucky.”

Ntting a national title will be much tougher the second time around, and landing that trophy fish will be a lot harder than just watching a bobber.

“We’re not from there, right? So, we’ll go down a week early and fish every single day before the tournament,” said Garin Garlie.

What makes it ever tougher? Coaches are limited in what they can do on the boat to help the team.

“Coach can talk to them a little bit throughout the day. Coaches can’t cast the rods, can’t tie the baits on, can’t run the trolling motor, can’t land fish,” said Todd Kostman, “You’re there to watch and drive the boat, that’s my role.”…Full Story