Feb 1st, 2010
There are no changes from BASS for the youth in 2010. Dues will remain the same - $10 per youth. The alignment of the youth program with the adult Federation Nation program will continue as it did in 2009. This means that our two youth contenders will again be part of the Maryland State Team, will fish the Mid-Atlantic Divisional Championship, and can advance to the Jr. World Championship.
The Jr. State Qualifying Tournament will be June 26, 2010, hosted by Southern Region; the Jr. World Qualifying Tournament will be July 18, 2010, hosted by the Central Region. Both will be held on the Potomac River out of Smallwood State Park.
The 2010 season will be my last year as Youth Director for the Maryland Bass Federation Nation. I will be stepping down but hope that I can find a replacement before doing so. (If anyone is interested in learning more about the position, please contact me.) I have been actively involved with our great youth program since my late friend, Butch Ward, introduced me to working with the MBFN youth back in 1987. It has been a great ride, full of many memories. I have traveled to many places and have been with the youth to cheer them on, and to cheer them up when they may have been down. I have watched them enjoy themselves during events, and have seen them grow up; it has been both an honor and privilege for me.
Although not all-inclusive, some of my fondest memories have been:
Jessie Flowers winning the Bassmaster CastingKids Championship in 2000 at the Bassmaster Classic in Chicago, becoming the first youth from Maryland to bring home a Championship;
Alex Thomas winning the Bassmaster CastingKids Championship in 2006 at the Bassmaster Classic in Florida – our second champion;
Austin Neary winning the Bassmaster CastingKids Championship in 2008 at the Bassmaster Classic in South Carolina – our third CastingKids champion;
Johnny Duarte, in 2009 at the Mid-Atlantic Divisional, win both the CastingKids and Tournament Championships, advancing to the Nationals in Florida, and becoming the only youth to double qualify for 2009; then seeing him win the Jr. World Championship and becoming Maryland’s first Jr. World Champion. Wow!
In closing, I am looking forward to the upcoming year. I know there will be many enjoyable moments in 2010. I can’t wait!