TEXARKANA, Texas — The last Texas high school bass fishing tournaments of the season are questionable to continue.
Hooks' fishing director Greg Ford and Atlanta's fishing director Aaron Nation are each facing an unprecedented interruption in the final finishing tournaments of the year.
"The main problem we are having is that the Corps of Engineers is having to shut down certain boat ramps," Ford said. "The bigger boat ramps that we usually use for our tournaments have been closed down. We have one tournament left that counts for points, so there is a lot at stake for these kids. It has not affected us just yet.
"We are monitoring the situation and guidelines to see what we can and can't do. If we are allowed to have our next tournament, we are looking at implementing steps to insure we do not have the kids in big groups. We are looking at different ways to conduct our weigh in so as to keep the crowd down."
Hooks has nine teams, which consists of two students and a boat captain. Audrey Obenoskey and Ally Ford make up one of the leading teams for the Hornets, while the other team is Jayden Swift and Connor Hawthorne. These two teams are in scholarship money and are in contention to add to it.
April 11 is the tentative date for the Hornets' last tournament at Lake Wright Patman. Hooks has fished in six tournaments so far, while the Rabbits has been in five tournaments. Atlanta has finished all of its division tournaments. Divisions in fishing are like districts in other sports such as football. Students can earn scholarship money depending on their performance.
"We finished up our five divisional tournaments, but some school still had one left," Nation said. "They first postponed those last divisional tournaments, and, I believe, they have cancelled them. They have taken the division standings as-is."
The top 50 percent finishers in the divisions go on to the regional tournament. From there, the top 50 percent at regionals go on to compete at state. Atlanta's regional tournament is slated for April 11 at Lake Tawakoni.
"I look for the tournament to be moved due to the outbreak," Nation said. "We might not even get to finish out the season. It is unknown."
Clayton Primrose and Garon Dupree earned first place and were Anglers of the Year in the division for the Rabbits. Justin Pierce and Carson Dillinger are Atlanta's other team.
"The real team players are the boat captains, who supply the boats for the kids," Nation said. "The boat captains get the boats ready, do pre-fishing and share their knowledge to help these kids when they go out."
Brent Primrose is the boat captain for Primrose and Dupree, while Larry Winchester is the boat captain for Pierce and Dillinger. It is a family affair. Brent is Clayton's father, and Larry is Pierce's grandfather.
"Any chance they get, Clayton and Darren will be out on the water," Nation said. "Rain, sleet or snow can't keep them from fishing. They put a lot of hours in on the weekend. The long hours of work have paid off for them."
Pierce and Dillinger finished 19th out of over 80 teams in the division for Atlanta.
Hooks has considered putting their boats in at Kelly Creek Landing in Maud, Texas, for the next tournament.
"We are hoping that we will be able to finish the season," Ford said. "Every point matters."