This junior club was formed in 2005 under the guidance of Craig Fredrychowski and the sponsorship of the St. Andrews Bassmasters adult club. Based in Lexington, SC, the SAJBA is the oldest functioning youth club in South Carolina. The club was originally a BASS club, but switched to FLW/TBF in the spring of 2007. There are currently 12 members–6 in the older age group of 15-18 and 6 in the younger age group of 11-14. Current officers are DJ McEachern–President, Drew Brantley–Vice President, Shane Cantley–Secretary, and Kyle Black–Secretary in Charge of Fund Raising. In 2007, Pete Brantley took over the helm as youth director. In the past 5 years, these juniors have sent 8 anglers to the National Guard Jr. World Championship, which is held in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup. They have had a clean sweep of 1st-3rd places in both age groups, including big fish honors, several years in a row. Ross Burns was state champion in the older age group in 2005 & 2006 for BASS. Below you will see the years, names, & age groups of the youth who took top honors in the TBF of SC State Championship & represented us at the National Guard Jr. World Championship.
2007–Kyle Black, younger age group
2008–DJ McEachern, older age group, & Kyle Black, younger age group
2009–DJ McEachern, older age group, & Drew Brantley, younger age group
2010–Shane Cantley, older age group–Shane also went on to win the Southern Division title at the Junior World Championship.
Who knows what the future holds for these young anglers? Many who have “graduated” from the club have gone on to fish for collegiate teams and in open tournaments. Ross Burns, age 19, currently fishes for Clemson University, Fishers of Men, the South Carolina Division of the BFL as a boater, & many open tournaments. DJ McEachern, age 17, will fish for USC beginning in fall of 2011. (Ross Burns will be joining him at USC this fall–YAY!) DJ is Ross’s partner in the Fishers of Men team tournaments, and he also fishes the adult TBF of SC trail as a co angler, the SC Division of the BFL as a co angler, and the infamous “Fatback Open” team trail on Lake Monticello in SC. Shane Cantley, age 17, fishes the adult TBF of SC trail as a co angler, as well as the BFL, SC Division, as a co angler.
Watch out pros! These highly talented kids are coming for YOU! Do we have a future Bassmaster Classic Champion or Forrest Wood Cup Champion in our club? Only time will tell…STAY TUNED!