12 TBF Division Champions began the final day of the 2010 National Guard Junior World Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. today; two champions emerged victorious. Greg Zellers, from Winamac, In., representing the 15-18 age group and the TBF Northern Division and Shane Edgar from Glendale, AZ. representing the 11-14 age group and the TBF Western Division. Not only can these champions boast the titles but also the $5,000 in scholarships and thousands in sponsor merchandise they’ve received for their wins. Both anglers held tense expressions as they anxiously watched the other ten anglers weigh their bags. Every weigh bag was black and each angler was instructed not to share any news, so it was exciting down to the very last ounce. They gave their all; only two walked away with the championship titles, but all walked away champions.
Greg Zellers earned the right to be called a national champion bringing solid fish to the scales both days. He caught only one fish, the biggest of the day, to secure his first place spot that weighed 3lb 7ounces. “I can’t even
begin to explain how excited I am right now,” Zellers said. “It’s exciting, a dream come true.” Zellers fished mostly deep water yesterday and had planned to head shallow today. “The fish on the graph were suspended in about 15ft of water so I just gave it a nice little pull and let it sit there for a minute. Then, I let it sink back down; I got a nice reaction out of it.” Several anglers took the opportunity to pre-fish the water in the months leading up to the event, including Zellers. “A while back I fished Lake Lanier for a week and found some comfortable spots.” Zellers admits, “It made me feel good about the tournament.” Yesterday, Zellers volunteer boat captain was Ed Hall. Today, he was paired with National Guard Pro, Clifford Perch, who volunteered as a boat captain. “ Ed and Cliff are just excellent people to be around, real cool guys.” Zellers not only thanked his boat captain but also his family, sponsors and supporters. “It means the world to me to have people that want to help kids; they’re making it possible for kids, not just adults, to go fish big tournaments like these.” Commenting on what this week meant to him he added, “Every kid that walks in able to fish this tournament gets a new experience in life and it helps them find their ways.” Fishermen have many techniques on the water, for this national champion one technique is at the heart of them all. “Fish hard and never give up.”
The 2010 National Guard Junior World Champion in the younger division, 11-14year olds, is Shane Edgar, from
Glendale, Az., representing the Western Division. He caught one fish weighing 2lbs. “It just hasn’t sunk in yet,” Edgar said. Long-time Georgia TBF State President, Larry Lewis, was his boat captain today and Doug Youngblood and local pro, Mike McFarland, were also high on Edgar’s list to thank. Lewis as well as Edgar’s sponsors were very influential to his success. “I just want to thank Tammy Cox at Berkley; I ordered some rods late and she made sure she got them to me. Also, I used some new reels all week.” Edgar’s technique all tournament was a drop shot. “I used a drop shot with a pink worm; kinda cool.” He was also extremely thankful to his parents for all their support. “I’m really excited that my parents travel and support me,” he said. His mother then replied, “He has wanted this so bad for so long and especially since he came in third at last years National Guard Junior World Championship; we are just so happy for him.”
Full results of the tournament can be seen on our results page.