GREENVILLE, S.C. – Sgt. 1st Class Mark Thompson of Anderson, S.C., and Sgt. 1st Class Robert Osteen of Sumter, S.C., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on Lake Hartwell Saturday. The team, fishing with Indiana National Guard pro Wes Thomas of Hanover, Ind., caught three bass for a total of 9 pounds, 9 ounces to take the title and bragging rights amongst their peers.
“This feels fantastic,” said Thompson. “I couldn’t have fished with anyone that would have been more fun and more knowledgeable about it.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Thompson added. “I’ve seen FLW on TV, but I’d never really thought about being in (a tournament). It exceeded my expectations.”
“At first I thought it was going to be one person per boat with a pro, and then they told us we were going to team up and that was even better,” said Osteen. “Me and Mark go way back and we hunt and fish and do everything together. We’re just like brothers. It was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be even with the wind and the rain.”
Each of the participants in the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament are members of the South Carolina National Guard and most have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. In this tournament, Walmart FLW Tour pro anglers took teams of two, which consist of members of the National Guard, fishing to compete amongst their peers. Each team was allowed to bring in three bass. FLW Outdoors is operating the tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.
Thomas said the team caught their fish on a shaky-head rig, although their biggest fish came on a BOOYAH spinnerbait.
“We pulled up on the first place and in less than 15 minutes of fishing we had three nice fish in the boat,” Thomas said. “Then I went to a place where I had caught some big fish in practice and we caught that big one that put us over the top.
“These guys fished hard all day long and didn’t miss a beat,” Thomas added.
A total of 23 service men, 11 teams, participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams was:
2nd: Sgt. Jason McMurry, Boiling Springs, N.C., and Cpl. Michael Moss, Blacksburg, S.C., with National Guard pro Brett Hite, three bass, 9-0
3rd: Capt. Daniel Screws, Columbia, S.C., and Sgt. Scott Mingie, Columbia, S.C., with National Guard pro Mark Rose, three bass, 8-13
4th: Sgt. Kaleb Johnson, Camden, S.C., and Staff Sgt. Wayne Hughes, Hemingway, S.C., with National Guard pro Scott Martin, three bass, 8-11
5th: Sgt. 1st Class Tim Green, Pelzer, S.C., and Master Sgt. John Gambrill, Prosperity, S.C., with National Guard pro Command Sgt. Maj. Doc McGhee, three bass, 8-5
6th: Sgt. Richard Kelly, Union, S.C., and Sgt. Newton Bentley, Union, S.C., with pro Joe Thompson, two bass, 8-2
7th: Sgt. 1st Class David Revell, Relton, S.C., Pfc. Glenn Kimbrell, Anderson, S.C., Staff Sgt. Trey Anthony, Leesville, S.C., with National Guard pro Jonathan Newton, three bass, 7-9
8th: Sgt. James Glass, Columbia, S.C., and Sgt. William Kyzer, Lexington, S.C., with pro Matt Arey, three bass, 7-1
9th: Maj. Victor Adams, Columbia, S.C. and Sgt. 1st Class Davzy Ramsey, Columbia, S.C., with pro Kevin Hawk, three bass, 4-13
10th: Sgt. 1st Class Vance Burgess, Inman, S.C. and Cpl. John Brown, Moore, S.C., with pro Jay Keith, two bass, 4-1
11th: Sgt. Joe Berendzen, Lugoff, S.C., and Sgt. Randy Crews, Prosperity, S.C., with pro Payden Hibdon, one bass, 3-5
The Soldier Appreciation Tournament was held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Chevy and hosted by the Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.
About FLW Outdoors
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.