Hooking school records, bass fishing team is state runner-up

Gray and Dalton capture runner up state title in bass fishing

Knox Central’s bass fishing team is already reeling in school records after competing in the KHSAA Bass Fishing state tournament the weekend of May 14.

The panthers bass fishing team claimed a state-runner up finish in the tournament. With three different boats entered in the completion, the Panthers had three high finishes, headlined by the school’s first state record – a state runner-up finish.

Knox Central anglers Alex Gray and Dalton Fisher were the team to claim the runner-up state finish with a two-day total of 26lbs.

Bass fishing is relatively new to Knox Central and high school athletics, being established as a state sport nine years ago.  Coach Andy Broughton provided an overview of the tournament logistics and how the teams performed on the water.

“The state tournament consisted of 90 boats drawn from four state qualifying tournaments that took place around the state two weeks prior. Those regional events have around 90 boats in each of them as well. They take a guaranteed top 16 from each region and then fill in the rest of the state tournament field based on other factors,” explained Broughton.

“We have five boats on our team and all competed very well at the regional tournament on Green River Lake,” said Broughton.  He noted that a school can send a maximum of six to the regional tournaments.

“We earned our championship bids by placing 10th (Alex and Dalton), 13th (Lance Smith and Hunter Bright), and 14th (Brady Hamilton and Grant Miller) thus sending more boats to the state finals than any school in the region,” said Broughton.  That itself was one school record achieved, but not the last for the weekend.

Broughton explained why the other two teams failed to secure a bid.  “They fished hard and had some excellent practice days but changing weather patterns and equipment malfunctions hindered them.”

Coach’s Tournament Recap

At the end of day one was when we knew we had a shot to place very high or possibly win the entire tournament. When day one ended Alex and dalton held 11lbs and 15th place, with our other two teams not far behind. To give an idea of how tight the competition was, the team in first place after day one had a 15 bag and 30 something had close to 10lb. All three of our teams knew if they could put together a heavier bag on day two then they could push for the state championship. Alex and Dalton did exactly that by going out and catching a 5 fish limit weighing in at 15lbs to give them a total of 26lbs and the lead, they held that lead for a while but day one’s leaders from Muhlenburg (located one hour away from Kentucky Lake) would bring in a 15lb bag themselves on day two giving them first place and the schools fourth state title in the tournaments nine-year existence.

“At the end of it all, all of our kids accomplished great feats. All three finished in the top 25 and the majority of schools that do well in that competition are from that area unlike us. It is like their Laurel or Cumberland, it’s where those teams load up and go every weekend and it is a very different lake than what we have around here. I think our success shows that we have anglers that are accomplished fisherman whom can compete on any body of water in this state,” said Broughton.

Coach Sam Castle also echoed similar about the success of the team.  “I can’t express how proud I am of these guys,” he said. “They work hard, and have displayed extremely high work ethic and character. I expect both of these young men to go on to be wonderful men. They’ve displayed everything you look for when leading young men.”

The Knox Central bass fishing team wishes to express their gratitude for the support of the community, administration, and sponsors. For anyone interested in fishing next season, contact head coach Sam Castle at 606-546-5114, or Andy Broughton 606-546-9253 Any student from grades 7-12, boys or girls, can join the team.