Big hits, kicks and jumps
The weekend of May 17-18 will go down as a special time and watershed moment for the 2019 Highland High School bass fishing team.
On May 18, the Bulldogs won the IHSA bass fishing state championship at Carlyle Lake in Carlyle.
It was the second state bass fishing championship in program history for HHS.
The tournament features a field more than 66 boats representing schools that qualified from 22 sectional tournaments across the state. The top three boats from each sectional tournament qualified for the state tournament.
In the first day of fishing, the Bulldogs angler team of junior Tyler Woll, sophomore Evan Sutton and junior Levi Weak reeled their way to first place thanks to a five-fish catch limit that totaled 16 pounds, 6 ounces.
On day two, the Bulldogs anglers reeled in two fish weighing 4 pounds and 11 ounces. That two-day total of 21 pounds, 1 ounce gave them the championship over Goreville.
Goreville finished second with a two-day weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces. West Aurora came in third place with a final catch of 18 pounds, 3 ounces.
Additionally, HHS qualified its two boats during the Coffeen Lake Sectional tournament May 2 at Coffeen Lake. Highland boat #1 finished second to father McGivney boat #1 and Highland boat #2 finished fourth behind Mt. Olive boat #2 with 13.65 points and 12.91 points, respectively. Highland’s second team consisted of Colton Brown, Austin Roach, and Cole Brown.
Since the inception of IHSA bass fishing in 2008, HHS has qualified for the state tournament every season with at least one of its two boats placing in the top three of their sectional tournament.
In six of the past 11 years, Highland has qualified both boats into the state tournament.
Highland’s bass fishing program, led by coach Jon Rinderer, now has eight sectional championships, and eight top-five finishes in the state tournament