OAKMAN — Oakman High and Oakman Middle schools' fishing teams will both be competing in this year's Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association (ASABFA) state tournament.The ASABFA Classic will …
OAKMAN — Oakman High and Oakman Middle schools' fishing teams will both be competing in this year's Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association (ASABFA) state tournament.
The ASABFA Classic will be this Friday and Saturday in Wetumpka, an over two-hour drive from Oakman.
Since this is the first year ASABFA has recognized a junior division, Oakman Middle School's fishing team will be competing at the state level for the first time. This will be Oakman High's second consecutive year to compete at state.
Oakman High fishing team sponsor Grant Nichols said the middle and high school teams took part in the same fall and spring competitions — a total of six.
"We've had a pretty good spring season. We've done what we needed to do to get into the tournament," Nichols said. "I'm really proud of them."
The high school fishing team is made up of nine teams that consist of one captain (an adult) and two anglers each, for a total of 19 youth members.
The middle school team for sixth through eighth graders is sponsored by Jessica Thompson, with five members making up the team.
Nichols said there will be roughly 260 boats competing in the state tournament, and there will be a crowd of over 400 people.
"It's almost like a college football atmosphere," Nichols said.
Thompson told the Daily Mountain Eagle in March, "There's just people everywhere. They're huge events."
Nichols said Oakman High will have six boats in the tournament, and the middle school is expected to enter three boats.
He expressed his gratitude to the high school team's title sponsor, Carl Cannon, and all of their other sponsors. Such support has allowed the team to make the journey to the state tournament and other tournaments this season.
The middle school fishing team has its own sponsors also.
In reflecting on the hard work of his team to make it to the state tournament, Nichols spoke of the team's courage and resilience, especially during some of their toughest competitions.
"It does my heart good to see kids be able to get to do something that they enjoy doing, putting a smile to their face," he said. "I'm very proud of my kids, proud of my captains."
The middle and high school fishing teams will fish at Lake Jordan and the Alabama River for the Classic.