Bears Fall Short in State Title Defense

Article By: Mark Hooker ; Photos Courtesy of Debbie Pietsch

The Montgomery Bears Competitive Bass Fishing Team, AKA the Montgomery High School Angler’s Club, have been very successful these past four years. First starting competition in the fall of 2014, the Bears won their first of four consecutive Conference Titles. The first one with the Houston High School Fishing Conference, and the last three in the Texas High School Bass Association, Houston Division.

The Anglers have also competed well on both the Regional and State Levels, winning Back to Back Regional Championships in 2016 and 2017. The Bears claimed the ultimate prize last year, being crowned the 2017 THSBA State Champions, besting 144 other High Schools from around the State. 

Coming off defense of their Regional Crown at Toledo Bend in April, the Bears were odds on favorites to defend their State Title on Sam Rayburn on May 20th & 21st. In fact, after the first day of competition, Montgomery was in the lead, but there were a couple of schools from the Longview area lurking close by.

The second day did not go as well for your “Fighting Fishing Bears,” as their total weight from their top 3 teams, which is how High Schools are scored, came in at 87.38 pounds. Lindale came in second with a total weight of 87.57 pounds, and the 2018 THSBA State Champions White Oak had a total of 89.67 pounds.

Leading the way for your Montgomery Bears was the team of Dylan Winders and Zach Thompson weighing in a two day total of 32.45 pounds, earning 10th place out of 229 teams. Following them closely was Mason Hoke and Declan Scansen, weighing in 30.89 pounds, claiming 16th place. The final team that made up the Bears top 3 teams was the defending Individual Champions Derek Pietsch and Trey Dawson. This pair brought in a total weight of 24.04 pounds, bringing the Bears two day total to the aforementioned 87.38 pounds.

All in all, the 2017-18 campaign was a good one for the Montgomery Fishing Team. The guys and gals were able to win their fourth consecutive conference title in a row, besting 39 other area High Schools. They were then able to defend their South/East Regional Title, winning by over 11 pounds on Toledo Bend. They were then able to place 3rd in the highly competitive Texas High School Bass Association State Championship, where 229 High Schools started the season looking to be the State Champions, and the MHS Angler’s came in a close 3rd place.

Another great note to the season was the announcement that Mr. Steve Keating was named the Captain of the Year by the Club. If you recall, Mr. Keating, a onetime Co-Sponsor of the Club, and current Boat Captain for Bryce Linscomb and Cole Williamson, saved a man at the Lake Livingston event last fall. Under the guidance of Mr. Keating, Bryce and Cole were able to retrieve Mr. Steve Maddox from the water. Mr. Maddox, a former Marine, had the misfortune of having his boat sink, and he was bobbing around in the waves of the main body of Lake Livingston for hours.

Coupled with the aforementioned accomplishments of the young men and women of the MHS Angler’s Club for the 2017-18 season, and the rescue of Mr. Maddox, it can be said that the team came up a bit shy of their ultimate goal of winning back to back State Championships, but were still Champions!