The Jr. SQT was held on the Lower Potomac River on June 28, 2009, hosted by the Western Region MBFN, launching from Smallwood State Park.
The top three finishers in the 11-14 age group were: 1st place - Johnny Duarte (9 lb. 9 oz.), 2nd place – Jessie Colie (6 lb. 10 oz.), and 3rd place – A.J. Diepietro (5 lb. 14 oz.).
The top three finishers in the 15-18 age group were: 1st place - John Joppey (9 lb. 6 oz.), 2nd place – Carl Lanore (9 lb. 4 oz.), and 3rd place – Andrew Griffith (8 lb. 8 oz.).
Michael Nutter had lunker in the 11-14 age group with 4 lb. 6 oz., and Carl Lanore had lunker in the 15-18 age group with 3 lb. 9 oz.
A cookout was held after the weigh-in. Special thanks to Gary Hemp of Hemp Meats for providing the burgers and hot dogs. Thanks also to the following boat captain for making this event possible for the youth: Ray Minton, Ken Morris, Dave Lawrence, Gene Milburn, Charlie Hartzell, Johnny Sims, Wendell Thompson, Darin Hoover, Charlie Clifford, Glen Pittman and Roger Trageser.
Bass Pro gift cards were presented to all youth contenders and boat captains for this tournament.
Junior World Qualifier
The Jr. World Qualifying Tournament was held on July 19, 2009 on the Upper Bay, launching out of Dundee State Park, and hosted by the Northern Region.
Johnny Duarte won the 11-14 age group and Zachary McQuade won the 15-18 age group.
Both youth will be part of the adult State Team and will fish the Mid-Atlantic Divisional Tournament on the Ohio River, launching out of Wheeling, West Virginia, in September.
I was unable to be at the Jr. World Qualifying Tournament but would like to say thank you to the Northern Region for hosting this tournament, and to Mike Day and all those who made this event a success.
Junior Mid-Atlantic Divisional Tournament
Zachary McQuade and Johnny Duarte pre-fished the Ohio River on September 17, 2009 with State Team alternate Rodney Eshleman. Both youth also fished the competition day with Rodney on the 18th.
Johnny won the 11-14 age group with one fish, weighing 1 lb. 2 oz., claiming the Mid-Atlantic Jr. Championship. He also competed in the Mid-Atlantic CastingKids Championship. Johnny won the CastingKids event, nailing a 40 on his cast-off against two other junior contenders. (See photo on page 36)
With his double wins, Johnny will advance to the Jr. World Championship and CastingKids Championship that will be held in Florida.
Junior World Championship
The Jr. World Championship was held on Yale Lake in Eustis, Florida on October 30, 2009. All youth contenders got to pre-fish the day before the event.
After pre-fishing, Johnny Duarte was hustled away to do his CastingKids competition since he would be competing in the tournament during the official CastingKids event. He was the only youth to qualify for both CastingKids and the J.W.C. championships so his scoring was done on Thursday, with the actual competition taking place on Friday while he was fishing. Johnny finished 5th overall in the 11-14 age group.
All youth contenders for the J.W.C. were brought to the arena and stepped off the tournament boats and onto the stage for the weigh-in. What a thrill for these young anglers to be afforded the same opportunity of weighing in in the same manner as the adult national contenders.
When Johnny weighed in four fish, he was put on the hot seat on stage – he remained there until the last contender in his age group came in. The remaining contenders didn’t have enough weight to overtake Johnny, and Maryland Bass Federation Nation had its first Jr. World Champion. Congratulations, Johnny! You made us all proud.
Butch Ward Scholarship
On November 5, 2009, the Scholarship Committee met at the Woodbine Inn to review the applications submitted for the current year. This year, five scholarships were awarded.
Receiving scholarships were: Kyle Wilhite ($1,000) – Salisbury University, Jennie A. Parker ($500) – Towson University, Autumn M. Linderborn ($500) – University of Baltimore, Laura F. Johnson ($500) – Knox College, and Logan R. Mathews ($500) – Allegany College of Maryland.
Since its inception in 2000, the Nelson L. "Butch" Ward Scholarship Fund has given out thirty-one scholarships, totaling $16,000.
Thanks to all those who help in making this a great tribute to our friend, Butch Ward. I believe he is looking down from above, smiling and proud of those receiving these funds which will assist them in furthering their education.
Butch Ward Tournament
The 10th Annual Butch Ward Memorial Tournament was held on Saturday, April 4, 2009, with a field of forty-two boats. The temperature at blast-off was 44 degrees, no whitecaps, and just a bit of a breeze. As the day progressed, the wind did get up, producing whitecaps and making the river muddy. The dedicated anglers brought 48 smallies to the scales, all over 18 inches, with a total weight of 174.12 lbs. There were nine limits and the tournament lunker was a 5.1 beauty. The team of Rude/Goff took 1st place with 12 lb. 9 oz. Second place went to Russ/Bridy with 12 lb. 8 oz. - they also brought in the lunker. Third place went to Zampelli/Blough (11 lb. 8 oz.), 4th place – Mellot/Rude (10 lb. 15 oz.), 5th place – Schulkins/Schulkins (10 lb. 14 oz.), 6th place – Bruchey/Tozzolo (10 lb. 10 oz.), and 7th place – Moore/Hull (10 lb. 6 oz.)
A cook-out was held after the weigh-in; everyone that stuck around walked away with something from the prize tables. Milton Goff won the framed smallmouth print donated by artist Mark Susinno.
Thanks to Eric and John for another successful tournament. Special thank you to Susquehanna Tackle and Mark Susinno for your donations.