Fishing to compete in first tournament

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Fishing to compete in first tournament

The fishing team will look to repeat as state champions this year.

The fishing team will look to repeat as state champions this year.

Courtesy of Sam Meaders

The fishing team will look to repeat as state champions this year.

Courtesy of Sam Meaders

Courtesy of Sam Meaders

The fishing team will look to repeat as state champions this year.

Haydn Spooner, Staff Writer

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The fishing team looks to reel in a first place finish this weekend while participating in its season opener on Lake Lewisville. The competition will be held this Saturday, Sept. 29, with anglers fishing from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Even after losing a couple of critical seniors who played a big part in the team’s success last year, team director Mike Burns said the team has plans to help continue their legacy.

“The team has been incredibly successful the last few years with multiple state championships, regional team of the year, regional anglers of the year, and thousands of dollars in scholarship money,” Burns said.

Freshman Mason Muller said he is eager for the opportunity to perform this weekend.

“This isn’t my first tournament, but it is my first high school tournament,” Muller said. “I’m looking forward to show off what I can do. People always ask me about it, and now I get to show them what Lovejoy and I can do.”

Muller explained the format of this weekend’s tournament.

“Each boat has two people, some have one, but you can have up to two and a boat captain,” Muller said. “Your best five fish are weighed in and you have points that go to your personal team and Lovejoy’s team. That can go to team of the year and angler of the year prize at the end.”

With close to 260 boats from 20 different schools which make the competition stiff, anglers have been working extra hard in the offseason to stay poised and prepared for the upcoming tournament.

“I feel confident due to the preparation we have made beforehand,” senior Coale Barr said. “Pre-fishing every weekend and scouting the lakes extensively will hopefully pay off in the end.”

The anglers might be in for a challenge, however, considering the previous and upcoming showers that hit the DFW area about a week prior to the event.

“The weather has really affected us this tournament,” Barr said. “It rained and flooded so much which changed the water conditions. The storms don’t really help because it muddies up the water so the fish can’t see as well, but the ideal conditions we like are a cloudy day with sun in the afternoon.”

Weather isn’t the only thing that will be challenging to anglers this weekend. For newcomers, they will have to overcome nerves in order to prove themselves to the rest of the team. Muller said his feelings consisted of a mixture of nerves and confidence.

“I’ve fished events like this before, but this is my first high school tournament,” Muller said. “I want to do well. You have to produce in order to show off what you can really do.”

Despite challenges the fishing team will have to conquer for this upcoming tournament, the experience the team has obtained the past few years helps fuel their confidence.  

“We’ve been state champs for the last two years, so I don’t think anything is going to change this year,” Barr said. “We had a couple of seniors that graduated last year that were really good, but we have so many freshman coming in that are very educated who can help us a lot.”

Despite the many new team members this year, Burns expects them to achieve high goals.

“We hope to qualify as many teams as possible to the regional and state tournament,” Burns said. “We want to have the combined team win the state championship and see the graduating seniors go on to fish in college.”

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