It’s been a wild summer for the TBF Youth Program. We started by having many of our youth state qualifiers this spring and we also announced our High School Fishing World Finals.
That event brought high school aged anglers from all over the country to Russellville Arkansas for a fantastic event that will long be remembered by those in attendance. With 76 teams participating from 18 different states it was a great way to kick off an annual event that is destined to grow immensely over the next four or five years. Congratulations to Kentucky’s Jared Raymer and Ethan Snyder for winning the inaugural event.
As soon as that tournament was completed we moved our TBF trailer to Gainesville Georgia for the National Guard Junior World Championship where anglers representing 41 states took part in another all-star type event.
Conditions were very tough in Georgia as our junior anglers fished on legendary Lake Lanier right alongside the FLW touring pros who were trying to win $500,000. The Georgia Bass Federation provided most of the volunteer boats for the event and for the first time in recent memory we had twice as many boater volunteers than we actually needed. That effort was spearheaded by the Georgia TBF President Larry Lewis and youth director Gerry Healey. Please thank each of them when you see them for their efforts!
When the hot Georgia sun had finally set Greg Zellers of Indiana and Shane Edgar of Arizona found themselves atop the leader board in their respective age groups. I had the pleasure of spending some time with both of those young men and their families the day following the tournament and both will be great representatives for the TBF.
At our annual Youth Director Meetings we had a lot of discussion about the future of the program and specific items like our SAF Program, Reel Kids, Solar Bat fundraising just to name a few.
If you haven’t sent in your Reel Kids Application for 2011 they are due YESTERDAY! So please send them to me ASAP or your state will be left out for this year.
Also if your state isn’t participating in the Solar Bat fundraising program you need to be! This program has been working well across the country and you’re missing the boat if your state isn’t taking advantage of that program. Please contact Tisha West at our office for more information on how to get started.
That’s all for now and don’t forget to get those Reel Kids applications in if you want your state to participate.
Until next month don’t forget to take a kid fishing today! Mark Gintert