BRHS fishing

Mary Beth Coker, left, and Slade Davis had the top finish for Benjamin Russell's fishing team at the ASABFA State Championships on Lake Jordan last weekend.

Despite going into the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association state championships on Lake Jordan last weekend ranked just 21st in the standings, Benjamin Russell exceeded expectations and placed 15th overall. The Wildcats had a top-10 finish in the Jordan Classic, scoring 803 points, which helped them jump up in the tour standings.

“This was the highest finish for our program, and we’re improving every year,” BRHS coach Josh Williams said. “We had an excellent year all together. We won three of our four tournaments in the fall, and we had our first top-five finish in Eufaula this spring, so there were a lot of highlights.”

Prior to this season, BRHS’ best finish at state was last year when it took 31st out of 40 teams.

In addition to its fine team finish, the Wildcats also had three boats earn top-50 places. Mary Beth Coker and Slade Davis were the best competitors on Lake Jordan, as they collected a two-day total of 25.68 pounds to earn 21st place overall.

Jacob Jones and Brandon Huff weren’t far behind, bagging 24.52 pounds which was good enough for 35th place. Wilson Hays and Hamp Meadows teamed up to catch 23.72 pounds, which earned them 44th place. Williams said he thought Hays and Meadows could’ve placed even higher but Hays did not fish the first day due to playing in the quarterfinals of the baseball playoffs. Meadows fished the first day by himself and caught about 9 pounds; together, the pair caught about 14 pounds on Day 2.

“I feel great about how we performed as team,” Williams said. “We have a lot of coming back, so hopefully we’ll keep getting better.”

Coker and Hays are the team’s only seniors.

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.