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Author Topic: ALL IN THE FAMILY!  (Read 1346 times)

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« on: February 20, 2006, 10:27:09 AM »

Hibdon, Kelly junior champs

This past weekend, BASS hosted its Junior Bassmaster World Championship at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes. It was both a stand-alone championship, and prelude to this week's Bassmaster Classic. The Junior Championship, held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Family Fest, kicked off "Classic Week."

In the Junior Championship, contestants in two age groups (11-14 and 15-18) were paired with a Classic competitor. Nick Kelly of Brownsville, Tenn. (age 17) won the 15-18 bracket, and Payden Hibdon of Stover, Mo. (age 14) won the 11?14 bracket. Hibdon (pictured to right) is the son of tour pro Dion Hibdon and grandson of fishing legend Guido Hibdon.

Kelly fished with Tommy Biffle and his final weight of 12-00 beat 2nd-place finisher Matthew Lambert (Oceana, W.Va.) by 1-10. This was his third Junior Championship and his second victory ? he also won in 2003.

"This tournament has gotten bigger and bigger every year," Kelly said. He's a high-school senior with plans to study marketing at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He also hopes to become a tour pro. "I want to go to college first to learn how to market myself and work well with sponsors, and then I'll start my career in professional fishing," he noted.

Hibdon's final weight was 9-05, which edged him past Zach Alexander (Salt Lake City, Utah) by 1 ounce. "This is awesome," Hibdon said, who was paired with Kevin Wirth. "It was good fishing with Kevin and I learned quite a bit.

"Words can't express how I feel right now," said father Dion. "He's a very deserving kid and I knew he wouldn't let the excitement get to him. I'm very proud."

Both champions received a $5,000 scholarship, a Triton boat powered by Mercury worth $8,000, and a Walt Disney World experience. BASS awarded $27,000 total in scholarships and prizes to Junior Championship competitors.

Junior Championship Top 5: Ages 11?14

1. Payden Hibdon -- Stover, Mo. -- 5, 9-05
2. Zach Alexander -- Salt Lake City, Utah -- 5, 9-04
3. Christopher Baksay -- Monroe, Conn. -- 2, 8-00
4. Tyler McCune -- St Joseph, Ill. -- 4, 5-06
5. Nick Lambert -- Oceana, W.Va. -- 5, 5-03

Junior Championship Top 5: Ages 15?18

1. Nick Kelly -- Brownsville, Tenn. -- 5, 12-00
2. Matthew Lambert -- Oceana, W.Va. -- 3, 10-06
3. James "Riley" Anthony -- Meridian, Idaho -- 5, 9-03
3. Martinus Van Aswegen -- Sasolburg, South Africa -- 3, 9-03
5. E.J. King -- Aztec, N.M. -- 5, 8-06
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