Wisconsin, Illinois Boys
Wins 2003 BASSMASTER CastingKids Competition
by BASS Communications/ BASS
2003 CastingKids Winners - Michael Howard in 11-14 year old
and Jonny Schultz in the 7-10 years old competition.
by ESPN Outdoorsar (click on photo to enlarge)
(Aug. 02, 2003 - NEW ORLEANS, LA)... While the
world's top bass anglers were fishing for the sport's world championship
on the sprawling Louisiana Delta Saturday, 10 children were indoors
pitching, flipping and casting for titles of their own at the
Bassmaster CastingKids National Finals presented by Chevy Trucks
and CITGO. The finals were held in conjunction with the CITGO
Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer.
When the elimination-style event concluded,
Jonny Schultz, 8, of West Bend, Wis., and Michael Howard, 14,
of Danville, Ill. hoisted their championship trophies before
the crowd gathered for the second day weigh-in show of the Classic.
Howard began practicing for the championship
at 8 a.m., three hours before his curtain call. Prior to arriving
in New Orleans he spent an hour each day flipping, pitching and
casting at the practice target. The contestants in this competition
get two tries to cast to the target from 30 feet, pitch from
20 feet and flip from 10 feet.
"It was worth it," he said. "This
is a really cool program and I'd tell any kid to give it a try.
You get to travel, meet new friends and hang out with the pros."
Schultz, who scored 120 of 150 possible
points, won the 7-10 age division title while Howard went home
with the 11-14 age group title after scoring 130 points. Each
youth won a $5,000 scholarship along with their titles.
Schultz and Howard were among thousands
of kids who competed in approximately 1,500 CastingKids events
held in the past year. The 10 finalists competed in the championship
after advancing through local, state and semifinal events.
The top 5 children battled it out Saturday
morning at the Classic Outdoors Show, and the top two competitors
in each age group tested their nerves and aim in front of packed
crowds as a preliminary to the Classic competitors' weigh-in
Schultz, a third-grader at University School
in Milwaukee, is in his second year of the program.
"It's pretty cool to get this far
but to win is even better," said Schultz, who follows the
pros and aspires to someday become a BASS pro.
"It's been a lifetime dream for me
to win this," added Howard, a freshman at Danville High
School who has won five state championships since he began competing
in CastingKids in 1998.
BASS created CastingKids in 1991 as a national
youth outreach program to promote the sport.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization,
sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its
Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail is the oldest
and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and
continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism
and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.
Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic
presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch
Beer, Chevrolet Trucks, Yamaha Outboards, Mercury Marine, Skeeter
Boats, Triton Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust
Systems, Kumho Tires, Progressive Insurance, Abu Garcia, Berkley,
Diamond Cut Jeans, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, and BankOne.
Associate Sponsors include Bryant Heating
and Air Conditioning and G3 Boats.
Local sponsors include the State of Louisiana
Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the Greater New
Orleans Sports Foundation, and Jefferson Parish.
For more information, contact BASS Communications
at (504) 304-2563.
BASSMASTER CASTINGKIDS FINAL STANDINGS
7-10 Age Group
PL Name State
1. Jonny Schultz Wisconsin
2. Clay Miller Missouri
3. Dylan Peppers Georgia
4. Brady Nolan West Virginia
5. Kyle Gertner Colorado
11-14 Age Group
Back to Fishing
PL Name State
1. Michael Howard Illinois
2. Dylan Schaefer Georgia
3. Billy Goodwin California
4. Elysa Lackey Vermont
5. Robert Snyder Louisiana
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