BENTON, Ky. – Sixty of America’s best young bass anglers ages 11 to 18 competed in the National Guard Junior World Championship on Lake Neely Henry in Gadsden, Ala., on July 31 in pursuit of scholarships, sponsor merchandise and funds for their state TBF chapters.
FLW Outdoors pledged $1,000 on behalf of the National Guard to each of the state TBF chapters that had a junior angler finish in the top five at the championship. The money, donated in honor of the young anglers, will be used to fund youth programs.
“We are extremely excited. It’s great for the kids and they are really thrilled to have helped raise these funds for their state TBF chapters,” said California TBF President Gary Bradford. “California had two kids finish in the top five, and our chapter is receiving $2,000. We are going to use the money to help fund our State Junior Championship. We currently have about 150 kids involved and hope that with the extra attention and funds we are receiving that we can recruit more kids into the tournament. FLW Outdoors and the National Guard put on an awesome show. This year’s tournament was the best junior championship that I have ever been to. We are already working toward next year.”
In the 11 to 14 age group, Johnathan Jones of Chickasha, Okla.; Payden Hibdon of Stover, Mo.; Chandler Young of Independence, Mo. (fishing for Kansas TBF); Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del.; and Mathew Carabello of Discovery Bay, Calif., finished first through fifth, respectively.
In the 15 to 18 age group, Joshua Wagy of DeWitt, Va.; Sean Alarid of Oakley, Calif.; Blake Felix of Raymore, Mo.; Wil Dieffenbauch of Hundred, W. Va.; and Samuel Nelson of Hutchinson, Kan., finished first through fifth, respectively.
The Oklahoma, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia TBF state chapters each received $1,000 while California, Missouri and Kansas each received $2,000.
“This unique funding opportunity is a reflection of the dedication that FLW Outdoors, TBF and the National Guard share with one another and the nation’s young anglers,” said David Simmons, FLW/TBF programs manager. “The junior anglers we are honoring truly earned this money by fishing hard and coming out on top. It’s a proud achievement for them and everyone back home who helped make it possible for them to compete. FLW Outdoors is proud to be associated with such a fine group of young men and women.”
In addition to earning funds for their respective state TBF junior-angler programs, Wagy, 18, and Jones, 13, each earned a $5,000 scholarship and a sponsor prize package of more than $800 from Castrol, Lowrance and Yamaha. Additional scholarships totaling $20,000 were awarded to the rest of the junior anglers who finished in the top five.
The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF) is owned by those we serve and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year and have provided the foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 30 years.
For more information about TBF Junior Angler programs in your area, contact your state’s TBF chapter. A list of state chapters can be found at bassfederation.com.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.