LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel’s team of Josh Boone and Brian Oliver claimed the Lew’s Big Bass award at the Kentucky SAF High School State Championship fishing tournament, held at Lake Cumberland.
The duo’s fish, the last smallmouth weighed, came in a three pounds, 15 ounce. The two finished in 15th place in the tournament with a total weight of six pounds, six ounces. They finished just ahead of teammate Logan Medlock, who had a total weight of six pounds, four ounces.
Other North Laurel finishers were Casey Collett/Austin Williams, Dustin Chesnut/Conner McKinney, Gabe Blair/Lane Williams and Josh Mink/Logan Robinson, who all came in tied for 38th.
“I am excited about this year, we got a little taste of the “big show” last year with one team qualifying for the state tournament at Kentucky Lake, the team of Dustin Chestnut and Connar McKinney, with their dedicated boat captain Freddy Adkins,” said North Laurel coach Nathan Stewart. “This team exemplified why high school bass fishing is just a positive thing for students. Freddy stepped in last year to help these two young men out with fishing a huge body of water like Kentucky Lake. Freddy had fished there some before so it was a good match. Though they didn’t have the best tournament the relationship that was by chance has turned into a very positive friendship that I believe will last for a lifetime.”
Stewart said he hopes to have all six of his teams go to the state tournament this year, but he knows that will be tough with the talent that is in this region.
“The team that will represent North Laurel High School will be returning guys Dustin Chestnut and Connar Mckinney; Josh Boone and Brian Oliver. Then we have a mixture of veteran fisherman and some freshman that are just getting their feet wet with Gabe Blair and Lane Williams. We also have three teams that are new to NLHS fishing: Logan Robinson and Josh Mink; Casey Collet and Austin Williams; and Logan Medlock and Lloyd Cochran. All of these teams participated in the Student Angler Federation State Tournament on March 23 on Lake Cumberland and we had two teams do very well, Logan Medlock who had to fish by himself, had six pounds, six ounces and fished hard all day long, and the team of Brian Oliver and Josh Boone.”
South Laurel had two teams compete in the event, with Wesley Baker and Wade Ball placing fifth with a total weight of 10 pounds, three ounces, and Austin Turner-Lucas Powell, who placed 28th with a total weight of three pounds.
Tristan Jordan and Don Taylor from Corbin High School only brought in four Lake Cumberland bass to the Conley Bottom Marina weigh-in scales but their 11 lb. 11 oz. bag topped a 70 boat field to win the Kentucky SAF High School State Championship.
Stewart said he would like to thank his team’s sponsors, which include returning sponsors for this year are Pittsburg Marine, Kentucky Outdoors, TCT Equipment, Animal House Vet, Vision RV Sales, Dave’s Window Cleaning, Martins Peterbilt, Cook Tire, and Weaver’s Hot Dogs.
“Thanks to those business that shown their support to our team and I hope the community shows there support to them,” Stewart said. “We also picked up a few new sponsors this year London Auto Sales, C and S Lures, BST Enterprise, Laurel Livestock, Dave’s Outdoots, Able Oil Company, First National Bank, Halls Electric, Kentucky Wildcat ATV Park, and Irvine Contracting. Without the support from these businesses we could not be able to pull this program off.”
The region tournament will be held April 6 on Lake Cumberland.