LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The recent growth of high school and junior high fishing in the Pineywoods appears to be paying off.
In just over a month, multiple teams from the area will be in Tennessee at the 2018 B.A.S.S. High School & Junior National Championship. In the junior high division, Cody Mundy and Brayden Askew will represent Broaddus. In the high school competition Garrett Morris and Reed Quarles will go from Diboll High School.
Morris is now a senior but as a freshman Morris was part of the first group of students that competed for the school.
"We had like four teams starting out and now we have 10-12," Morris said. "We are getting more kids involved and it was fun last year."
The two won their invitational tournament in mid June on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Now they will have to go up against over 200 of the top teams from around the United States.
"We brought in 20 pounds and we were thinking 25 would get us in so we were worried," Quarles said. "I have seen a bunch of other tournaments where guys were catching close to 30 pounds so I wasn't sure if we had enough."
The two would win by over 5 pounds.
The Broaddus team not only finished second in the state in their division, they were also named the Junior Anglers of the Year for the Deep East Texas High School Fishing League.
It is just pretty awesome to know that I have never done anything like that before," Askew said.
Being the youngest guys in the Broaddus program, the two did not think much of going to nationals.
"I was thinking, 'Heck, I cannot believe I made it,'" Mundy said.
None of the four have been to Tennessee to fish but are looking for the challenge that awaits them.
"It is going to be a neat experience," Morris said. "We are just going to have to go out there on our pre-fishing days and see what we can learn."
The Junior Bassmaster Championship for Mundy and Askew will take place July 31-August 1 on Carroll County, Tenn.'s recreational lake near Huntington, Tenn.
The Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series National Championship presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods will be held on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tenn from Aug.2-4.
More information on the events can be found here.