South Carolina high school teams qualify for national championship

Prosperity, S.C. — A schedule conflict for several high school anglers limited the turnout for the South Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation State High School Championship April 30 at Lake Murray.

“We had a lot of proms that weekend so I had a lot of calls from the kids who said they had prom and can’t go (to the tournament),” said Randy Vaughn, South Carolina Nation youth director. Despite losing some competitors to the annual spring high school dance, the tournament still drew 47 teams from 21 high schools throughout the state.

The state championship qualified the top two finishing teams for the third annual Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship Aug. 4-6 at Kentucky Lake. The Abbeville High School team of Daelyn Whaley and Drake Boyd won the championship with 17.48 pounds by throwing Pencil Popper topwater plugs followed up with Zoom Flukes. South Florence High School’s Tommy Floyd and James Gibbons threw crankbaits to catch 15.04 pounds, including the big fish of the tournament weighing 5.57 pounds, to finish second.

Most of the field weighed in fish with 12 teams recording double-digit catches. Vaughn noted the fishing was good since the blueback herring had moved up on shallow points resulting in some topwater action for the competitors.

South Carolina Nation members helping Vaughn run the tournament were Nation President Jackie Stanford, Nation Tournament Director Randy Mosley, Bill Blast, Kenny Bruger, Candi Vaughn and Mary Camp.

The South Carolina Nation High School Team Trail had 135 teams registered this year, and the circuit continues to grow, according to Vaughn. “About every two weeks we get a new school,” Vaughn said.