What event could possibly get today’s teenagers out of bed at 0430 on a Sunday? An opportunity to compete in the first ever Student Angler Federation Bass Tournament in Virginia. Sunday March 28th 2010, 12 members of the Kenston Forest Kavalier Bass Assassins competed with one another in an internal school qualifier dubbed the Sandy River Showdown in Farmville, Virginia. This was the first step of the journey towards crowning the first Student Angler Federation School and individual champions.
The competitors are divided into two age groups, 11-14 years old and 15-18 years old. They compete head to head against others in their age group with place finishes determined by total weight. The results in the 15-18 year old group were: 1st Place, Orrey Lloyd with 8.06 pounds and Big Fish for the Tournament , a 7.10 pound monster. 2nd Place, Austin Slatyon with 1.46 pounds, 3rd Place, Lucas Lloyd with .81 pounds. 4th place, Allison Cheely, 5th Place, Margaux Hall, 6th place, John Chipper and 7th place, Michaela McGhee. In the 11-14 year old group; 1st Place, Carl Schwabenton with 2.2 pounds, 2nd Place, Steven Baldwin with .91 pounds, 3rd Place, Willie Wright. 4th Place, Brian Chipper and 5th Place, Lex Schwabenton. Congratulations to all of our competitors.
This was an awesome event even though the weather was brutally cold on the young competitors. It’s success can be attributed directly to Kenston Forest School, its enthusiastic students and supportive parents, the volunteer Boat Captains; Reuben and Chris Williams, Jason Hensley(Sandy River Bassmasters, Region 6); Ben Nice (Region 3); Ken Kirk (K2 Guide Service); Mark McGhee (Regional Pro)and Jay Strawser (Assistant Coach, KFS). KFS Team Coach and event coordinator, Michael “Doc” McGhee (Ft. Pickett Post Command Sergeant Major and National Guard Fishing Team Pro) and Tournament Director, Tim Mick who also serves as the TBF-Va State Youth Director. Additional thanks to Region 6 for use of its weigh in trailer, Haley Ford, Lowrance, FLW, the National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars Virginia, Wiley X and Automotive Excellence in Blackstone, Va.
The Student Angler Federation is a new program within the ranks of the Bass Federation which brings bass competition to the middle and high school level. The TBF pillars of Youth, Conservation and Fishing sit on a foundation of Education. The SAF functions both as a fishing club with elected officers and a mission of developing students civically and as a sports team with levels of competition in Districts and the State. Kenston Forest once again demonstrated its “lead by example” philosophy and started the first Club/Team in the Buggs Island/Gaston District as well as Virginia. Since then Jefferson Forrest in Bedford has introduced another Club/Team and explosive growth is expected throughout Virginia as word of this opportunity is spread.