Finishing Second in Conference for the First Time in the Fishing Team’s History last year did not sit well with many on the Team. From 2014-2018, the MHS Angler’s Club had known nothing but First Place in their Conference.
Their First Conference Title coming in the Houston High School Fishing Conference in 2014-15, beating 14 Houston Area High Schools. Then, winning 3 Consecutive Texas High School Bass Association Conference Titles from 2015-2018 was next, capturing these Championships over as many as 46 Local High Schools. There were also 2 Regional Titles, as well as being crowned the THSBA State Team Champions in 2017 along the way.
Enter the 2018-19 season, which was the catalyst for making the 2019-20 squad hungry to return to Montgomery’s familiar spot. Last year’s team was the first to be combined, with students from both Montgomery High, as well as Lake Creek High Schools, hence the name change to MISD Fishing Team. The numbers of Team Members had swelled to 94 students, and anticipation was high to continue the Winning Ways established in the prior years.
However, the newly united Team had an old nemesis in Huffman Hargrave. The Falcons had been nipping at the heels of the MHS Anglers Club’s for several years. In the 2018-19 Conference season, Hargrave was finally able to catch Montgomery, earning them the Conference Championship, and putting Montgomery in the unfamiliar spot of 2nd. The 2018-19 squad responded well to this setback, by outdistancing Hargrave at the Regional Championship that year, and qualifying a record number of teams to the State Championship, in which they placed a very respectable 4th.
The 2018-19 Team also had a strong base in which to build upon for the 2019-20 season, with the return of the Teams’ Anglers of the Year from last year Dallin Turner & Carson Rennell, plus the addition of some strong Incoming Freshmen in Fallon Clepper & Wyatt Ford.
Speaking of record setting, that is exactly what transpired at Lake Livingston for the MISD Fishing Team. By winning the Lake Livingston Event, there was no doubt that Montgomery was back. The win clinched a 5th Conference Title in 6 years of Competition for Montgomery, more than any other Team in THSBA History. It was also the way the team responded to the challenge that Lake Livingston can bring, that impressed this writer so much. There were 7 individual Teams from MISD that were in the Top 10 for the tournament. It was an unbelievable display of dominance, on a Lake that had given the teams of prior years’ a little trouble. The Tournament Director Ryan Emmert said later that “I don’t think that’s ever been done before. Having that many Individual Teams from one school or Team, in the Top 10 of any tournament in the THSBA.”
Leading the way in this historic win for MISD were Zach & Jake Hird in 3rd, Beau Massey & Wyatt Lanier 4th, Tyler Funderburg & Hayden Bither 5th, Logan Beverung & Jack Shafer 6th, Jack Haag & Conner Callihan 7th, Fallon Clepper & Wyatt Ford 8th, and Taylor Peel & Tanner Poole coming in 9th. To take 7 spots out of 132 total Individual Teams, from 23 Area High Schools, is simply unheard of.
Along these same lines, the MISD Fishing Team also set another precedence; in that the “Squad” had 5 Individual Teams qualify for the coveted Anglers of the Year Tournament. This is a tournament where only the Top 10 Individual Teams from all 9 conferences, will have the opportunity to compete at the end of the season after the State Championship. Those qualifying from MISD were as follows: Fallon Clepper & Wyatt Ford, Taylor Peel & Tanner Poole, Ethan Price & Brendan Oleyar, Carson Rennell & Dallin Turner, plus Clayton Holcomb & Kade Beall.
The MISD Fishing Team has now earned the right to send 26 Individual Teams to the Regional Championship, which will be held at Lake Conroe on April the 11th. The Team invites everyone in the community to come out and support this awesome group of young men and women. They have represented the town of Montgomery, as well as the School District, in a very positive manner. The weigh in will be held at the MISD Stadium, with weigh in activities usually running from 3 to 5 p.m. It will be here that Teams from all over the region will by competing for the right to go to the State Championship, which will be held at Lake Belton on May the 8th-10th.