Years of time spent on the water in the hot sun has paid off for some York County high school anglers.
Four local students placed at the 2017 BassMaster National High School Championship June 20-24 at Kentucky Lake in Tennessee. The annual competition challenges teams of high school anglers from across the country to fish their way to a college scholarship.
Two fishing teams from the York County High School Anglers, a group of students from high schools and middle schools throughout the county, competed against more than 230 teams from across the United States.
Teammates Adam Altman, 16, from Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill and Justin Kanute, 15, from Clover High School finished in seventh place. Altman and Kanute will split a $1,250 college scholarship.
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“It takes a lot of work and a lot of patience,” Kanute said. “I’m always wanting to be on top.”
Chris Kanute, who leads the York County Anglers, said the group gets students outside and teaches them skills.
“It’s been a fun season,” he said.
At the nationals, which was catch-and-release, teams turned in their five largest fish caught each day to determine their rankings, Justin Kanute said. Kanute’s team reeled in 10 fish weighing a total of 39 pounds, 8 ounces during the competition.
Teammates and Clover High School students Britt Myers, 17, and Tanner Maness, 17, landed 10 fish weighing a total of 35 pounds, 10 ounces to finish 17th place.
Maness said teams can make a 1,000 casts in a day.
“It tires you out,” he said. “It’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s a lot more fun than it looks too.”
It’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s a lot more fun than it looks too.
Throughout the season, which runs in tandem with the school year, the anglers worked their way to nationals by qualifying in regional and state competitions. It was the first year the two teams competed at nationals together.
Kanute called the students’ success “phenomenal.”
The anglers said they would like to see more students from York County join in the sport.
“It’s fun to spend time with your parents and your partner,” Justin Kanute said. “It’s time to bond on a little length of a boat.”
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082