Ponca City, Okla. – The Bass Federation (TBF), in partnership with FLW Outdoors, announced hosted the inaugural Student Angler Federation Tri-State High School Fishing State Championship, Sunday, June 12 at Congamond Lake, Southwick, MA. The state championship was a two person team event for students in grades 9-12. This event served as the state championship for Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the top team from each of these three states advancing.
Lowell Turner III and John Ryan of Chariho High School in Rhode Island had the overall tournament heaviest weight of 17.19 lbs and were crowned the Rhode Island State Champions. Luke Taylor and Justin Canada of Massachusetts weighed in with 6.62 lbs and were crowned the Mass State Champions. Brother and sister team of Justin and Alia Dingle of Wilcox Technical school in Connecticut were crowned the CT State Champions with the 4 fish weight of 9.07 lbs. All three teams advance as state champs.
The state champions will advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Regional Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship hosted on a college campus this fall. They will receive travel allowances to help offset expenses. The winners from each regional will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held on a college campus in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in the Spring of 2012. National Champions will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.
Teams who entered and competed at this event, if still eligible, will be qualified to fish in the largest event in high school fishing, the 2012 High School Fishing World Finals (at no extra cost), to compete for thousands in college scholarships and prizes. Additionally, it is open to any and all high school fishing teams who would like to come and compete. If you are not SAF members, you will just need to pay a $50 team entry fee. For more information regarding the HSFWF, please visit our HS Fishing World Finals page on HighSchoolFishing.org.
A unique feature of an SAF sanctioned event such as this is the “angler testing” component. Anglers were given the opportunity to take a free online test at HighSchoolFishing.org about boater safety, conservation and angler ethics, which made them eligible for contingency awards at their state championship. “It’s an industry first by TBF and a tremendous way to emphasize the importance of education to these student anglers,” TBF Youth Director Mark Gintert commented. “The Federation is driven by our desire to promote education through fishing and the testing component is designed to do exactly that. Put this package together with our partnership with FLW Outdoors and the sky is the limit. These young anglers will have opportunities unlike anything the industry has ever seen.”
TBF and SAF would like to thank Marc Borque and all the volunteers who helped make this event happen. And a huge thank you to all the parents, mentors, teachers, coaches and boat captains for getting your students involved with high school fishing!