The Highland High School bass fishing team parlayed an exciting and successful first day into bringing home two state trophies from the IHSA State Bass Fishing Finals Friday at Carlyle Lake.
The big opening day for Highland’s two boats was instrumental in the Bulldogs placing second and third at the two-day state tournament that featured 66 boats consisting of the top three boats from each of the 22 IHSA Bass Fishing Sectional Tournaments from across the state.
As day one of the tourney drew to a close, there were only six boats which weighed in five-fish limits and Highland’s boats took two of those six spots.
Boat No. 2, which consisted of anglers Alec Rebbe and Jake Freeman and was piloted by assistant coach Scott Sautman, had reeled in first place in the standings with a five-fish limit tipping the scales at 11 pounds, 15 ounces. Boat No. 1, made up of Hampton DuFrain and Blake Schumacher and was steered by head coach Jon Rinderer, sat in third place with a five-fish limit of 10 pounds, 6 ounces.
But both teams had a rough second day, as did a lot of the other competing teams. Only two boats weighed in five-fish limits.
“With fishing being extremely tough, the Highland anglers went into day two knowing that they had to catch fish to stay in the running for the championship,” Rinderer said. “Their positive attitude and incredible work ethic paid off.”
The team of DuFrain and Schumacher was able to grind out two keepers weighing in at 4 pounds, 9 ounces which bumped them up into second place with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 15 ounces. DuFrain and Schumacher also earned second place at the 2015 State Final Tourney.
Rebbe and Freeman were also able to grind out two fish. Their fish weighed in at 2 pounds, 8 ounces and gave them a two-day total of 14 pounds, 7 ounces and the third-place trophy.
Highland’s two alternates were sophomore Lake Bircher and freshman Colton Brown.
Elkville Elvarado’s team of Zach Burner and Alec Valerius, who was in fourth place (9 pounds, 11 ounces) after day one, was the only boat to catch a five-fish limit both days and won the event with a haul of 21 pounds, 5 ounces after bringing in 11 pounds, 10 ounces on the second day.
Rounding out the top five were Rochelle in fourth place (13 pounds, 14 ounces) and Argenta-Oreana in fifth place (13 pounds, 12 ounces).