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Lake life

NELA anglers make nationals

There’s so much going on in the outdoors and everybody is so busy that sometimes things don’t get their just due. Take competitive high school bass fishermen, for instance. Every time a high school athlete picks up a ball and bounces, throws or kicks it, or if they even just run around a track in a circle for their school, you hear about it.

But there is another group of high school sports competitors who accomplish just a much and get very little credit. It’s our high school bass fishermen. The Northeast Louisiana High School Anglers had 25 High School Angler teams participate in the 2020 Louisiana State Championship last weekend with 120 teams throughout the state participating. The event was hosted by the Student Angler Federation. NELHSA had 4 teams qualify for the 2020 National Finals / World Championship combined event. They are:
* 4th place Bradley Newcomb & Randall Stansbury, D’Arbonne Woods Charter School
* 7th place Hunter Dendy & Reagan Walker,
D’Arbonne Woods Charter School
* 8th place Gage Struben & Hagen Carter,
West Ouachita High School
* 12th place Jackson Porter & Nathan Husser
, Sterlington High School

Congratulations to these young men and their adult boat captains, who stay with the fishermen all day, but are not allowed to assist in fishing in any way. It’s a great design and promotes safety and integrity in the tournaments. I appreciate all high school athletes, but none others I know get up at 4 a.m. prep and pay for their own gear, pay their own expenses, “compete” in torrential rains and freezing weather and never gripe one bit.

It’s interesting that the state tournament also had 42 junior high teams for anglers 15 and younger. That bodes well for the years to come.

It would be nice to see our schools offer more support for these angler teams representing their schools especially financial help, encouragement and recognition.

And unfortunately, other than an occasional photo op for a higher uppity up in one of the school’s administrations, it doesn’t even get much better when our fishermen get in college.

ULM and Louisiana Tech have made a huge mark on college bass fishing. Yet they get very little support from their schools, if any. That’s a shame, isn’t. But they don’t complain. There are now at least four former Warhawks on the pro bass trail. They better not slow down because some of these high school boys are soon gonna be nipping on their spinnerbait skirts!

To find out more about the organization in this area, check them out on Facebook. And if your business depends on the future of fishing, YOU should be calling THEM to help and sponsor what they are doing. They can always use volunteers and some financial help to start out these young men and women on the right path outdoors. Do your part. It’s about more than just catching fish. It’s about being a better person and making the outdoors a greater place. And these youngsters are good representatives of their schools.

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