Wayne County Casting Cards compete in National Championship
Four 'Casting Cards' participated in the Annual Student Angler Federation World Finals and National Championship on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina June 30th through July 2nd. Wayne County Captain Jason Stockton said, "Three hundred ninety eight teams from all over the United States (including one team from Zimbabwe) participated in the competitions."
Wayne County's two teams qualifying to fish the Nationals this year consisted of Kason Stockton and Alex West, along with Ethan Burnette and Bryson Sloan. The tournament started Wednesday, June 30th - the National Championship was crowned Friday, July 2nd and the top 31 teams remaining competed on Saturday for the World Championship. Kason and Alex placed 96th with Ethan and Bryson finishing 161st.
Captain Jason Stockton said, "We are very proud to have three teams competing on the National level this year. Hanna Kempton and Jenna Morrow will be fishing the BASS High School National Championship later this month. It's great to see the kids hard work payoff." He further stated, "We spend a lot of time on the water, but it's worth every minute to get to share something you love with your kids."
Fishing slows down in the summer and will start back early fall. Stockton continued, "The Casting Cards mostly fish in the fall and spring. I encourage any middle school or high school age student to follow our Facebook page - Wayne County Casting Cards - if you're interested in joining the team. The college scholarship money available now is unbelievable."
Stockton sends out a special 'thank you' to all local sponsors: Don Franklin of Monticello, Country Farm and Home, West Towing, Pro Bass, C&P Marine, D & M Closeouts, Trifecta Houseboats, Dove Designs, American Woodmark, Kidwell's Barber Shop and Shady Springs Farm.
The National High School movement started for three reasons. It was felt that youth across all sectors needed clean family fun and to live and learn in the outdoors as many older folks did when we were young. The purpose was to use fishing to get kids outdoors with an adult mentor and with the intent of not just educating about common sense, manners, and ethics. Math, science, language arts and fishing are important parts of life in general.
It was also a way to providing education opportunities. Not just college - trade school too - as our country still needs trades and skilled craft people. College is not for everyone, especially in today's world, but education opportunities are being made available even through fishing.
This program itself is not about money and has not required entry fees, nor does the organization pay cash to kids at high school events. It's always been prizes and scholarships. Industry partners, host communities, along with parents and boat captains/coaches/mentors make it all happen. The National Championship event with its own set of prizes and scholarships total nearly $500,000, which puts nearly three million dollars in scholarships and prizes up for grabs.
Ethan Burnett and Bryson Sloan with fish
(l-r:) Ethan Burnette, Coach Jeremy Burnette, and Bryson Sloan
Coach Jason Stockton, Kason Stockton and Alex West
Bryson Sloan and Ethan Burnette on the boat fishing
Kason Stockton (left) and Alex West (right)