THSBA CHAMPIONSHIP, PRESENTED BY SKEETER BOATS / YAMAHA (Zwolle, LA)
174 teams from the four THSBA divisions (West, Central, East & Houston) converged on Toledo Bend for their shot at over $65,000 in scholarships and prizes. San Miguel SRA in Zwolle, LA was the sight for the 2-day weigh in and over the course of the two days, there were some nice stringers of fish brought to the scales on both Saturday and Sunday. Skeeter Boats / Yamaha was the title sponsor for the 2015-2016 THSBA Championship by providing the prizes, trophies and plaques and $15,000 to the scholarship fund. They have been a great partner of the THSBA for the past 3 years and we can’t thank them enough for all they do for our students.
Because of the limited parking at San Miguel, trailering was called for by tournament director Matt Tolnay, which turned out to be one of the best calls of the tournament as a big storm with heavy rain, hail and lots of wind hit the area around 2 pm. Teams reported swells in the 4-6 ft range, turning Toledo Bend into a very dangerous and scary body of water. All the boat captains used extreme caution and got the students to safety, which everyone is extremely grateful. Very well done boat captains!!
Leading the charge on Day 1 was the West Division team of Trent Martelloni / Coale Barr of Lovejoy as they brought in 5 fish for 20.40 lbs. Following close behind was the East Division team from Bullard of Kevin Haugh / Colton Hatcher, as they had 5 fish for 19.33 lbs, with a 7.30 lb kicker. Third place on Day 1 was the solid Central Division team from Lamar County consisting of Mason Hamm / Ty Waggoner, while 4th place was held by Will Hughes / Carter Henderson of Whitehouse, out of the East Division. Both teams had 5 fish for 17+ pounds. Rounding out the Top 5 on Day 1 was the Central Division team of Dakota Pfoh / Justin Shelton of the Mabank Panthers as they had 5 fish for 15+ pounds.
The Big Bass leader after Day 1 belonged to the team out of the Houston Division of Cade Tyra / William Bradshaw of Team Bayou Bassin’, as they brought in a very nice 7.43 lb bass.
Zwolle HS was the site for the 2015-2016 THSBA Awards program. Current Toledo Bend Guide and 1974 Bassmaster Classic Champion and Tommy Martin was the guest speaker. Tommy is also a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. He gave everyone in attendance some good advice on “letting the fish speak to you while on the water” in order to be a more successful angler.
Those getting recognized were the teams that finished in the Top 10 in the AOY standings from each division, the Rookie of the Year from each division, the Team Advisor of the Year from each division, and the Team of the Year from each division. In all, a total of 92 awards were presented. This awards program was particularly bittersweet and emotional for me personally, as those in attendance were witness to. I had to say goodbye to my son as his high school fishing career is now complete. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to say a few words regarding just how proud of him I am and just how much I am going to miss him next season.
The best response of the night was when the crowd gave the team of Kaden Proffitt / Will Gamblin from Franklin County a standing ovation for their honesty during the East / Houston Regional on Sam Rayburn. They are a great addition to the THSBA!
Bluebird skies were on tap following the storm on Saturday as the second, and final day of competition got under way with teams still fighting it out to lay claim to the top prize of a $20,000 scholarship plus a full day guided trip on the Texas body of water of their choice, plus THSBA Champions jerseys, plus Abu Garcia Revo Rocket reels.
Upping the ante on their day one catch of 17+ lbs by bringing in over 20 lbs on Day 2 was the team East Division team of Will Hughes / Carter Henderson of Whitehouse HS as they took home the honor of being named the 2015-2016 THSBA Champions with a total weight of 37.84 lbs. Congratulations to these two and to their boat captain Billy Hughes. Carter will be attending Texas A&M (WHOOP!!) this fall and Will is planning on attending SFA. Looks like the $20,000 scholarship ($10,000 each) will certainly be put to good use. The THSBA wishes them both good luck in college.
The Central Division team of Dakota Pfoh / Justin Shelton were able to bring in a nice limit of 20+ lbs for a two day total of 35.84 lbs to lay claim to a $10,000 scholarship. It was a good weekend for this team as they had two very nice days on the lake and their boat captain (and Dakota’s dad) Wally Pfoh, was recognized and awarded for being named the Central Division Team Advisor of the Year. Great job guys!
Third place went to the West Division team of Trent Martelloni / Coale Barr of Lovejoy. Their two day total ended at 29.59 lbs which allowed each of them to take home a $2,500 scholarship, trophies and a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses.
Another West Division team came in at 4th place as the Arlington Martin duo of Jackson Hall / Josh Soroka were able bring in 28.34 lbs to take home a $4,000 scholarship ($2,000 each).
Representing the Houston Division was the Hargrave HS team of Matthew Dorcz / Tait Babin. They made the most of their 7 fish for a total weight of 27.29 lbs, earning them a $3,000 scholarship for finishing in 5th place.
The BIG BASS of the tournament was definitely a monster!! The Flower Mound team of Richard Kelly / Trevor Jordan brought in a huge 10.79 pound bass. What a great trophy for Richard from his last high school bass tournament! Richard was awarded a certificate for a pair of Costa sunglasses up to a $280 value.
I would like to thank our 2015-2016 sponsors for a great year: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Costa Del Mar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Bass Pro Shops, Cricket Wireless, Harrell Marine Electronics, American State Bank, Cowboy Toyota, Fun n Sun Boat Sales, Power Pole. Without the support and commitment from all of these great companies, we cannot continue to do great things for the students of the Texas High School Bass Association.
On behalf of the Board of Directors for the THSBA, I want to personally thank everyone for allowing your students to be a part of the THSBA for the 2015-2016 season. Good luck to all of the graduating seniors in your future endeavors. We certainly look forward to welcoming back all of the underclassman for the 2016-2017 THSBA season, which believe it or not, will start up in just a few short months. The Board of Directors for the THSBA will be meeting this weekend to work on things for the upcoming 2016-2017 season, including putting together a schedule. The 2016-2017 schedule will be released within the next couple of weeks, after we nail down the particulars.
I certainly hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer.