GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Add fishing to the latest sport that Gallia Academy can claim success in.
The Blue Devils had a pair of two-man teams qualify for the 2013 BASS regional fishing tournament, and the duo of Jared Martin and Billy Powers came away with runner-up honors and a spot in the BassMaster Championships to be held in February in Alabama.
Martin and Powers — who were captained by Danny Rose — came away with second place overall at the regional event held in July at Lake Wheeler in Decatur, Alabama. That runner-up effort landed the duo one of only 14 spots at the national event, which will be held at Huntersville Lake in the Cotton State.
Martin and Powers caught over 15 pounds of fish at the regional qualifier, which landed them a boat in the water alongside some of the best professional fishers in the country.
“My team fished to their strengths,” said Rose. “It was awesome to finish in second place, but we could have easily won this tournament had we not lost several bigger fish. We did the best we could, and we have a chance to make amends come this February at nationals.”
The duo of Winston Wade and Zach Blanton — who were captained by Todd May — also placed 31st overall at the regional event, which was about the midway point in the field.
Wade and Blanton, however, did manage to capture their second FLW Ohio state championship in three years during the June event held in Gallipolis on the Ohio River. The duo will also be competing in the FLW national championship in November at Kentucky Lake.
“We had a good day in Decatur, but we could only muster a few fish to finish in the middle of the field,” May said. “On the other hand, these two had a great day of fishing at the state championship on the Ohio River. It was an amazing way to defend our home turf.”
According to May, GAHS is one of only a few schools to be competing for a pair of national championships in the near future.
“For a little old country town, we’re doing really well,” May said proudly. “It’s been a really good year for fishing at Gallia Academy.”