The Wayne County Casting Cardinals had a good year participating in a club league with neighboring student anglers, as well as at a few larger competitive tournaments.
Most recently, 2018 graduate Austin Bell and his fishing partner eighth grade graduate Christopher Sloan won the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association State Open Championship on May 19th on Lake Cumberland. The two students received first place for the catch with the most weight at the weigh-in at Conley Bottom Boat Dock. In addition, Austin Bell caught the biggest fish at 4 pounds 5 ounces.
Austin Bell and Brandon Gregory are Wayne County High School’s two graduating seniors and were honored at a Casting Cardinals get together at the Aspire Center on Thursday, May 31st. Scottie Sloan, the local Appalachian Challenge Academy recruitor is the Casting Cardinals coach. He would like to encourage both male and female students in seventh grade and up to seniors to join the Casting Cardinals for the upcoming season. He also encouraged volunteers with boats to lend their support to the club. “We need some dads with boats or volunteers that are interested in kids,” he explained.
In the fall on the Green River, Austin Bell and McKinley Phillips qualified as state champions at the fall TBF (The Bass Federation). So, they will have the honor of fishing at the TBF National Championship on June 25-29 in Pickwick, Alabama.
On March 31st Christopher Sloan and Bryce Elam enjoyed coming in 22nd out of 243 boats at the Burnside Island Boat Dock. The Bass Federation State Championship was the largest high school Bass Fishing Tournament this year, in regard to the number of participants. The top 10 percent go to the nationals at the end of June. Coach Sloan indicated that Sloan and Elam are a bit young to go to nationals and just are not ready to compete at that level yet, however, he was proud of their accomplishment.
There are only two Kentucky High School Athletic Association recognized tournaments and this year the team participated in Regional competition in April, however none of the local anglers were able to advance to state.
Austin Bell (left) and Christopher Sloan (right) won the KCAA State Open Championship