|MCHS has two teams in bass fishing finals
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
Ninety boats loaded with high school bass fishermen will be out on Kentucky Lake this weekend competing for statewide honors and two of those boats containing four MCHS student/athletes will be representing Montgomery County.
Coach John Vice’s squad ended up third in the team competition that was won by Johnson Central with Clark County coming in second, just a half-pound in total weight ahead of the Indians.
The teams competed in cool conditions in the morning with the temperature around 50 degrees under cloudy skies.
The rain began falling around noon and then by the time the competitors arrived for the weigh-in the combination made for rough conditions.
“Let’s just say it was pretty miserable by the time we were having the weigh-in,” Vice said.
The duo of Joseph Burchett and Seth Jackson, both seniors at Johnson Central, had five fish at the end of the day that weighed in at 11 pounds, 9 ounces including the biggest bass caught that day that weighed 4 pounds, 9 ounces.
The West Carter team of Tayten Barker and Caleb James were the only other tandem to bring in a fish over the 4 pound mark and their fish weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces.
Montgomery County seniors Harrison Gay and Alex Nesmith caught five fish that weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces with their biggest fish weighing 2 pounds, 6 ounces.
Eighth-grader Cougar Jones also fished a portion of the afternoon with that team as a qualified substitute.
Each school entered in the competition with up to six boats in the water and the top 20 finishers qualified for the state tournament.
Montgomery County’s other qualifying boat was manned by brothers Gabe and Tryton Amburgey, a freshman and a seventh-grader, and they weighed in with four fish that tipped the scales at 5 pounds, 13 ounces, putting them in eighth place in the overall competition and earning them a berth in this week’s state tournament.
“I’m just really proud of those two teams and that shows the diversity of this sport,” Vice said. “We had one team of veterans that have stayed with the program and worked to improve their skills and another team with two youngsters that have a lot of fishing ahead of them at the high school level who’ll have a chance to test themselves against the best in the state this week, as well.”
Seniors Jacob Highley and Evan Stamper came in 32nd in the field and were just under two pounds away from qualifying for the state event.
Senior Pruitt Lansdale and junior Chandler McCoy finished tied for 44th while senior Andrew Purvis and Kruz Jones along with sophomores Hunter Townsend and Peyton Barber qualified for regional competition but did not finish among the top 20.
“The competition is definitely getting tougher,” Vice said following the regional tournament. “The more they fish, the better they get. We’d love to have more boats headed to Kentucky Lake but we’re glad to be represented.”
James Workman was the boat captain for the region for Harrison Gay and Alex Nesmith and that position with be handled by Jim Gay at the state event.
The Montgomery County teams were headed to Kentucky Lake Tuesday with practice days Wednesday and Thursday. The tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Johnson Central and Clark County each qualified three boats for the state tournament.
West Carter qualified two boats and the other schools that qualified each placed just one boat. That list included Powell County, Paintsville, Boyd County, Martin County, Estill County, Rowan County, Greenup County, East Ridge, East Carter and Jackson City.
Fleming County, Morgan County, Clay County, Bourbon County, Bath County, Harlan County, Lee County, Knott Central and Pike County Central also had teams in the competition.
This year’s Montgomery County team had a total of 46 squad members.
That list included:
Seniors—Bobby Doyle, Harrison Gay, Jacob Highley, Kruz Jones, Pruitt Lansdale, Jacob Looney, Andrew Purvis and Evan Stamper.
Juniors—Hunter Cotter, Chandler McCoy and Morgan Powell.
Sophomores—Peyton Barber, Jake Lawwill and Hunter Townsend.
Freshmen—Gabe Amburgey, Tanner Campbell, Landon Lawson, Luke Maiden, Hunter Reed, Joe Rothwell, Brendan Spencer, Preston Spencer.
Eighth graders—Rhett Amburgey, Brayden Barnett, Carson Burchett, Hudson Cockrell, Elijah Coleman, Chase Conlee, Stryker Davidson, Will Dombroskas, Cougar Jones, Landon Lawson, Luke Pierce, Colby Rose, Dane Roundtree, Cooper Slagel, Terry Summers and Dagan Tipton.
Seventh graders—Tryton Amburgey, Bryson Beasley, Zach Burnett and Logan Kratzer.