MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. — A team of Junior Bassmasters won the first New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) bass championship, May 9 on Lake Winnipesaukee.
New Hampshire Junior Bassmasters club members Connor Farrington and Cam Sterritt fished for the Exeter High School team and won the championship with a four-fish limit weighing 12.43 pounds.
Eight New Hampshire Junior Bassmasters competed in the tournament that drew 136 students from 44 schools.
“Every high school eligible kid in the club was there,” said Ray Meyer, the New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Nation youth director. “All of my anglers did well. Some of them might not have placed well because some of them were not paired up with other Junior Bassmasters.”
Other Nation juniors who competed in the event were the team of Jack Albert and Brandon McGirl, who finished 18th with four fish weighing 9.04; Tyler Speirs, whose team placed 11th; Ben Stevens, 27th place; Ben Landry, 28th and John Delaney, 49th.
The tournament was conducted by the NHIAA with assistance from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Meyer said the tournament ran smoothly for an inaugural event. “I have seen some adult tournaments go a little crazier than this one was,” he said. “I think it was well staffed. Fish and Game had a lot of people there to help and the NHIAA folks were there to help out.”
Several New Hampshire Nation members served as boat captains for the high school competitors and John Foster, New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Nation president, and Meyer helped coordinate the tournament format of matching two contestants with a boat captain because they had plenty of experience running a similar format in Junior Bassmaster events. “John and I were very instrumental in helping with the logistics on that,” said Meyer.
The event was a trial tournament as the NHIAA and the schools prepare for full implementation of a bass fishing program during the 2013-'14 academic year. Meyer said the NHIAA is considering setting up a tournament trail with qualifying tournaments for a state championship.
A local news station covered the event, and the video can be viewed here.