The Chapin High School duo of Berkley Bouknight and Jacob Wright, both of Chapin, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the 2017 FLW High School Fishing South Carolina Open tournament on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina. The win advanced the team to the 2017 High School Fishing National championship, held June 27-July 1 at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama.
A field of 58 teams competed in the no-entry fee tournament, which launched from Dreher Island State Park in Prosperity. In FLW/TBF High School Fishing competition, the top 10-percent of teams competing advance to the High School Fishing National Championship.
The top five teams on Lake Murray that advanced to the 2017 High School Fishing National Championship were:
1st: Chapin High School – Berkley Bouknight and Jacob Wright, both of Chapin, S.C., (five bass, 16-14)
2nd: Woodruff High School – Justin Green and Caleb Ownby, both of Woodruff, S.C., (five bass, 15-6)
3rd: Abbeville High School– Drake Boyd and Chandler Ellis, both of Abbeville, S.C., (five bass, 14-7)
4th: Palmetto High School – Cameron Bailey and Ethan Thrasher, both of Williamston, S.C., (five bass, 13-6)
5th: Woodruff High School – Cole Gore, Enoree, S.C., and Clayton Caldwell, Woodruff, S.C., (five bass, 13-4)
Rounding out the top 10 teams were:
6th: Easley High School – Hunter Keel and Justin Raines, both of Easley, S.C., (five bass, 13-0)
7th: Middle Georgia Fishing Club – Chase Garrison and Ben Kennedy, both of Macon, Ga., (five bass, 12-15)
8th: Union High School – Dray Davis and Brandon Lawson, both of Union, S.C., (five bass, 11-7)
9th: Palmetto High School – Evan Reeves, Pelzer, S.C., and Max Ford, Belton, S.C., (five bass, 10-14)
10th: Fort Mill High School/Owen High School – Will Dewey, Fort Mill, S.C., and Hunter White, Black Mountain, N.C., (five bass, 10-12)
Complete results from the event can be found at HighSchoolFishing.org.
The 2017 FLW High School Fishing South Carolina Open was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12, open to any Student Angler Federation (SAF) affiliated high school club in the United States. The top 10 percent of each Challenge, Open, and state championship field will advance to the High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.
In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2017 High School Fishing World Finals, held in conjunction with the National Championship. At the 2016 World Finals more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded.