Article by: Mark Hooker
Photos Courtesy of Debbie Pietsch
The Montgomery Bears Fishing Team successfully defended their Texas High School Bass Association Houston Division Conference Title, for the third year in a row this past Saturday, March the 10th on Lake Houston. Tim Haugh, President of the THSBA went on to say that, “By Winning their 3rd THSBA Conference Title in a row, the Montgomery Bears have accomplished something that has never been done in the history of the THSBA!”
The Bears were able to defend this year, with consistent efforts at each of the 5 conference tournaments, by having one 3rd place, three 2nd place finishes, and one 1st place. That 1st place finish came at the right time, this past weekend at the Lake Houston Open.
Competition was keen, as 168 individual teams from 38 High Schools descended upon Lake Houston. The host school, the Hargrave Falcons have been breathing down the necks of the Bear Fishing Team all season, looking to challenge for the Conference Championship. In fact, it came down to the wire, as Hargrave had the early lead, anchored by the impressive 5 fish limit of 17.90 pounds that Matthew Dorcz of Hargrave brought to the scales. This impressive sack of fish put him squarely in the lead, claiming the Individual Lake Houston Title. He was backed up by the Hargrave teams of Garrett Stevens and Ruston Breaux, and Dalton Mensik and Ryland Breaux. In fact, their top 3 teams, which is how schools are scored, amassed over 40 pounds of Bass on Lake Houston, setting the bar high.
Your Montgomery Bears were able to overcome the total weight of the Hargrave Falcons on the strength of having 3 teams placing high in this event. The Bears were led by the team of Tanner Poole and Clayton Smith, who brought 5 fish to the scales that weighed in at 15.82, claiming 2nd place as an individual team. They were followed closely by newcomers Matthew Owen and Jeffrey Bradford, claiming 7th with 13.97 pounds, and rounding out the Bears top 3 was Cameron Middleton, weighing in 5 fish for 13.28 pounds, placing 8th. All totaled, the Bears posted over 43 pounds of Bass, claiming the Team Title at the Lake Houston event.
Now, it is off to the Regional Championship at Toledo Bend in April. It is there that the MHS Anglers will look to defend their Regional Title from last year, and qualify as many Individual Teams as possible to the State Championship, to be held on Lake Sam Rayburn in late May.
It will be at Sam Rayburn, where the MHS Angler’s Club have their sights set on defending their State Championship from last year, and win back to back State Championships as a team. Also, the team of Derek Pietsch and Trey Dawson will be looking to repeat as the Individual Team Champions as well. A daunting task for sure, as the THSBA has grown to over 1300 Individual Teams, from over 200 High Schools state wide.