Wills Point wins Texas regional

DALLAS — Matthew Sprague and Zack McEnturff of Wills Point High School won the Texas High School Bass Association (THSBA) Regional Championship on Lake Ray Hubbard on March 1.

The pair brought in a limit of five fish for a total weight of 30.69 pounds. That bag was anchored by the biggest bass of the tournament, a 9 1/2-pounder.

The second-place team of Marshall White and Justin White from Kaufman High School weighed in a limit for 20.99 pounds.

The event was supposed to be a two-day tournament, but the first day was canceled because of severe weather. On the actual competition day, conditions had improved significantly, and temperatures were in the mid-70s during the weigh-in.

In all, 63 teams competed. They qualified by being near the top in of their respective high school club’s Angler of the Year standings.

“We are extremely proud of our young ‘Iron Men and Women,’ as they represented the best of the best from the THSBA,” said Jeffrey Lobaugh of THSBA.

As part of the event, competitors met at Bass Pro Shops in Garland, Texas, for a series of seminars from Bassmaster Elite Series pros Edwin Evers, Gary Klein, Takahiro Omori and Cliff Crochet.

“These fishing professionals were all class acts and did not leave the stage until every question was answered, every hand was shaken and every photograph was taken with our group,” said Lobaugh.

Tournament sponsors Bass Pro Shops and Cowboy Toyota gave the volunteer boat captains a $20 gift card to Bass Pro Shops and 10 percent off anything in the store. Other sponsors, including Strike King, Zoom and Lake Fork Trophy Lures, donated gift bags to the competitors. The winners, Sprague and McEnturff, won prizes from Bass Pro Shops and college scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each.

Kaufman High School won the team weight award. It’s calculated by combining the weights of the Top 3 teams from a school. It was Kaufman’s third year in a row to take home the prize.

After the tournament concluded, competitors enjoyed Soulman’s BBQ during the banquet. THSBA recognized the Top 10 in the series’ Angler of the Year race, including the winners, Zach Starling and Colton Kirk from Quinlan Ford High School. The organization also presented an award for the Overall School of the Year Championship to the Quinlan Ford Panthers and its adviser, Ken Starling, as well as Rookie of the Year awards to Nichole Howard of Kaufman High School and Curtis Daughtery of Sanger High School.

“What a great year and opportunity for student anglers to compete in North Texas,” said Lobaugh.

“We would like to thank our many sponsors over the course of the year including Fun N Sun Sports, the Lake Tawakoni Bass Club, Bass Pro Shops, Cowboy Toyota, Zoom, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, Bass Champs and PoBenda’s Fishing Adventures,” Lobaugh added.

“Without your financial support, none of this would have happened. We would also like to thank all the boat captains, volunteers, parents and school districts that supported competitive high school bass fishing this year within the THSBA. You have all had a tremendous positive impact to the lives of these amazing young men and women.”