Tournament trail gives high school anglers opportunity

Youth bass tournament group offers opportunity

GLEN • Three years ago, when Sam Wiginton’s son wanted to join a scholastic bass fishing team, he and his wife founded one. That initial spark has built into a blaze that now warms anglers from seven Northeast Mississippi schools, and the numbers are still growing.

The Northeast Mississippi Youth Anglers gather competitive fishing teams from Kossuth, Biggersville, Tishomingo County, Pathway Christian, Eagle Homeschool Association, Alcorn Central and Corinth High Schools. In its third year, the group facilitated an eight-stop tournament trail that put youngsters and adults together in a competitive but collaborative environment at least once a month from March through October, then gathered once more for an awards banquet and fellowship. They’ll gather again in January for planning and fundraising to get their fourth season underway.

“When we started, my wife asked me, ‘Do you really have time for this?’” Wiginton, a truck driver by trade, laughed. In his spare time, he also helps transport veterans to medical appointments. “I said, ‘No, but we’ll make time.’ I don’t know if she intended to volunteer at the beginning, but my wife helps with every tournament and wouldn’t have it any other way. The parents of the kids on all the teams are great, too. They’re always willing to chip in and help. Right now, we’re raffling off a guided fishing trip to help with buying stuff for the kids next year. Everyone who helps is a volunteer.”

Wiginton’s son, a high school junior now, was at the center of the group’s first team, which was founded at Alcorn Central where he’s a student.

“Anglers from other schools in the area found out about it and wanted to be a part of it too, but of course they didn’t want to be on the Alcorn Central team if they went to another high school, so that’s where the North Mississippi Youth Anglers group came from,” he said. “It’s open to kids from any schools that want to participate.”…Full Story