July 27, 2016
Grant Pavelka and Tyler Rowland of North Platte High School caught a five-fish limit weighing 15.85 pounds to capture the Nebraska High School Fishing Championship for the second year in a row. The event took place July 23 at Elwood Reservoir Wildlife Management Area north of Elwood in Gosper County.
The winning team’s largest bass weighed 3.57 pounds. Ben Pavelka was the team’s coach and boat captain. Pavelka and Rowland earned the championship titles, trophies and a slot in the Southern Conference Regional on October 15 at Cypress Lake Bayou near Shreveport, La.
Ian Pinhero and Owen Jansen of Omaha Westside took second place with five fish weighing 14.87 pounds. They also caught the tournament’s biggest fish at 3.98 pounds. Syd Wier and Clayton Stevens of McCook caught five fish weighing 13.89 pounds for third place.
This sixth annual state tournament, which included 32 teams, was hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation (SAF). Each team could weigh in a maximum of five bass, with a minimum length limit of 15 inches.
The 2016 Nebraska State Championship was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12. The top 10 percent from each TBF/FLW state championship field and the top three teams from each of the seven TBF/FLW Opens will advance to a Conference Championship event. The top 10 percent of each conference championship field will then advance to the High School Fishing National Championship, in the spring of 2017. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to the school of their choice.
The top three winning teams are eligible to represent Nebraska at the Southern Conference Regional Tournament on Oct. 15 at Cypress Lake Bayou near Shreveport, La.
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