After Saturday’s Texas High School Bass Association Houston Division Tournament on Lake Conroe, I thought I would have no problem with writing this article. Truth of the matter is, I along with others present, were in awe of what these young men and women of the MISD Fishing Team just accomplished.
Let’s start with the tournament itself. Coming into Saturday’s event, your MISD Fishing Team had the goal of winning, but by how much was Historic in and of itself. The top 3 Teams for Montgomery were unbelievably, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, with a total weight of 68.87 pounds! That’s right, it’s not a misprint, MISD’s top 3 teams had almost 69 pounds of fish for their top 3 Teams, easily outdistancing our closest competitor by over 20 pounds!! With MISD coming in 1st, 2nd, & 3rd, catching 68.87 pounds, and winning by over 20 pounds, all three accomplishments were firsts for this program. “History Was Made.”
Leading the combined squad for MISD was Sofy Hartman, fishing Solo in this event, and per THSBA rules, accompanied by her Mother as an official observer, and as well by her Captain. The pressure was on Sofy, as prior to the event, she was just above the cutline to make it to Regionals. She also had the pressure of being in the boat Captained by one of our “Local Legends,” Trea Luedke. Sofy responded like I knew she would, but how she did it left us all with our mouths open. She stunned the crowd with an awesome 5 fish limit of 24.20 pounds, anchored by a 9.92 whopper! Another first for the program, a new Solo Team record for an event. “History Was Made.”
Our Second Place Team of brothers Zach & Jake Hird are no strangers for doing well for the combined squad. This formidable tandem brought an awesome 5 fish limit to the scales, which weighed in at 23.12 pounds. This Team has been a consistent force for MISD all season, and will be a Team that the MISD Fishing Team will be counting on at the Regional Tournament to be held at Lake Palestine in April.
Coming in Third for MISD was a pair of Anglers that definitely responded to the pressure and magnitude of the event. Garrett “Outdoors” Peel and his partner Mason Jones had dug themselves into a hole prior to this event by being below the cutline for Regionals. This team “brought it” for this tournament, securing a 5 fish limit that weighed an impressive 21.55 pounds. Thus, vaulting them above the cutline, and bringing much needed momentum for this pair headed towards Regionals.
Another first is that we had a Solo Angler in Cade Lipham accomplish something that has never been done before in Program History. He has earned the distinction of being the 2020-2021 Houston Division Angler of the Year. Quite the feat when you take into consideration that Cade was the Best Angler out of Teams of Anglers from 24 High Schools in the Houston Area. “History Was Made.”
Another Historic event that occurred on Saturday was the fact that the MISD Fishing Team did something that no other Team in the Houston Division has ever done. They won all 5 Conference Tournaments for the Conference Season. “History Was Made.”
The Team wanted me to convey a HUGE gratitude of Thanks to the many folks that make this endeavor possible. First, they wanted to make sure that their Parents/Captains were acknowledged. Without our Parents supporting this program, we would not be where we are.
Secondly, we have a “Fleet” if you will, of Captains that volunteer their time, talent, and resources to insure success of the Teams that they Captain for. This is all the more admirable, as they don’t have a “Dog in the Fight” so to speak. I know there have been MANY volunteer Captains over the years, but there are four that have stood out for the program for their years of service. They are Steve Keating, Danny Ferraro, John Rankin, and Trea Luedke. Without Volunteer Captains such as them, there would have been a bunch of MISD Anglers that would have not been able to compete.
The Team also has a deep sense of gratitude to the Sponsorship Team that has made it possible for them to compete. Without the sponsors, the Team would not be able to compete as well as it has. This year’s Platinum Sponsors are: Shipley Do-Nuts, LMC Marine, Travis Hird M.D., SBM Contractors, Perry Construction, New Tex Plumbing, and Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q. The Official Product Sponsors of the Team are the Strike King Lure Company, Hobie Polarized Sunglasses, and St. Croix Rods.
Also, there are two Advisors to the MISD Fishing Team, which includes myself at Lake Creek High School, and Mrs. Toni Luedke at Montgomery High School. Yes, I was the Faculty Advisor to start the program in 2014 due to a Senior and First Club President in Blake Teasdale, that “encouraged” me see the light as to how this would be a Great Program for the students of Montgomery. To be honest, I don’t think Blake or I could have ever envisioned what this program would become. However, since Mrs. Luedke has joined us, there has been a driving force in this program. I have said it MANY times before, “there wouldn’t be a Fishing Team without Toni Luedke.”
To recap, let’s revisit all of the firsts that were accomplished by this talented group of Anglers so far this year. Largest Solo 5 fish limit, biggest winning margin, first time to have our top 3 Teams come in 1st, 2nd, & 3rd, having a Solo Angler win the AOY, the largest winning weight in program history, and winning all 5 Conference events.
“History was made.”