Veteran and Newcomer Team up to win Georgia State Championship!
In previous years Tyler Mathews would have been watching from the dock as High School anglers from across the state of Georgia would have been taking part in the 2015 Georgia High School State Championship. But with the expanded SAF rules that now allow 7th and 8th graders to participate with a High School aged partner. Mathews got his big break when he was paired with senior Blake Stephenson and the two worked together perfectly to win the State title with an impressive 5 fish limit that weighed 17lbs 5oz. Young Mr. Mathews also helped the cause tremendously with a 6lb 2oz kicker fish that help the team from Evans High School/Middle School edge out second place finishers Tristan Thomas and Dakota Crumley of East Hall High School who finished right behind them with an equally impressive 5 fish limit that weighed 17lb 3oz.
These two teams will lead a six team contingent that advanced from the 68 boat field to the SE Conference Regional Championship in September at Lake Lanier which is also in the state of Georgia.
Finishing third was the team of Jared Baker and Jake Staley from Whitewater High School who had a limit of fish that weighed 16lbs 13oz. Fourth place went to the team of Mathew Jones and Eli Huggins of West Forsyth High School who had a five fish limit that tipped in at 15lbs 11oz. The pair also captured the Lew’s Big Bass award with a 7lb 4oz beauty to claim a nice pair of Lew’s reels for their efforts. Finishing in fifth place was Nathan Ragsdale and Joshua Bennett who brought in 13lbs 13oz to seal their trip. Rounding out the Conference Championship qualifiers which advance the top 10% of the field to the fall event was the team of Jake Hubbard and Mason Quarles of North Forsyth High School who had 13lbs 1 oz. Just missing the cut but also having a good outing was the team of Andrew Johnson and Griffin Caraciddo also from North Forsyth High School who had a very respectable outing with 12lbs 11oz to finish seventh in the event.
“We caught our fish on a green pumpkin Shakey Head” stated Stephenson the elder statesman from the winning team. “Now I know it might seem hard to believe but we caught almost all of our fish when it was raining” added Stephenson. “Combine that with finding a little muddy water and that seemed to be the secret for us today.” When asked how he caught his 6lb kicker fish the smiling Mathews stated that he flipped the Shakey Head back into a little pocket and the fish just barely bumped the bait when he set the hook and the event winning moment was on! The pair was quick to thank their boat captain and parents as well as Buckeye Lures for helping them to victory during the event that saw a steady rain cover the area for almost the entire day.
Special thanks goes out to the Georgia Bass Federation, Cabela’s, the staff at the beautiful Wildwood Park and the Augusta Sports Council for hosting a terrific event for the up and coming stars.
For full standings CLICK HERE