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Heights’ Still, Brees among 19-boat field in KBN state championship

Josh Rouse
Boats launch ahead of the final Kansas BASS Nation High School qualifier tournament last weekend at Wilson Reservoir.

The field for the 2020 Kansas BASS Nation High School State Championship fishing tournament is now set after last weekend’s final qualifier tournament on Wilson Reservoir.

Shawnee Heights graduates Parker Still and Connor Brees secured their spot in the 19-team championship field Sept. 12-13 at Bone Creek alongside fellow Capital City Fishing Club members Tucker Bylkas, of Blue Valley, and Ian Uphoff, of Riley County.

Still and Brees finished 15th with 7.93 pounds at the Aug. 8 qualifier, which saw 36 teams compete, with Bylkas and Uphoff finishing 24th with 6.47 pounds.

Zakary Pegorsch and Michael Brown, fishing for the Bass Junkies Club, netted the win on Wilson with a 10.8-pound three-fish limit, edging out Olathe East’s Tyler Kendrick, who was fishing solo. Kendrick posted a 10.49-pound bag for second place, with Kickback Club’s Luke Crane and Jackson Opheim finishing behind him in third with 10.34 pounds.

Basehor-Linwood’s Aiden and Ethan Tripe finished fourth with a 9.96-pound bag. Franklin County’s Todd Crossley and Austin Curtis, who picked up their first win July 25 on Milford, rounded out the top five with 9.82 pounds.

Legacy Christian’s Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman, who finished 12th in June at the FLW World Finals on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, took 10th in Saturday’s final qualifier tournament with a 9.29-pound bag. They were among the qualifiers for the state championship, as well.

Buhler’s Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover earned Angler of the Year honors, which include an automatic berth in the Bassmaster High School National Championship from Oct. 18-24. As such, they won’t be fishing in the state championship.

Topekans Nick and Kyle Herrman — who finished third in the final youth qualifier Sunday after taking first in the first four qualifiers — earned Angler of the Year honors in the youth division. They also gain an automatic berth to the Bassmaster Junior National Championship on Oct. 19-20 at Carroll County 1,000-Acre Recreational Lake in Tennessee.

Their Topeka teammates, Laiken Emanuel and Avery Bowen, finished fourth in the final qualifier and second in the season standings. They will compete in the KBN Junior State Championship, which runs at the same time and place as the high school state championship.


The Topeka Capital-Journal will unveil its first-ever 20-person Kansas High School All-State Bass Fishing Team on Aug. 30, with a Fishing Team of the Year unveiled the following weekend. The selection process will take into account both the KBN and FLW high school tournaments for the 2019-20 season.


The 2020-21 fall season schedule for the KBN high school and youth divisions also were released this week.

The high school season begins Sept. 26, followed by the youth season Sept. 27, both at Perry Reservoir in Jefferson County, just two weeks after the 2019-20 state championship.

The second fall high school and youth qualifiers will take place Oct. 3 and 4, respectively, at Melvern Reservoir.

Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 are slated as make-up dates if needed, and would most likely take place in Oklahoma if they are necessary, according to youth director Travis Burch.

The spring season is still yet to be determined.



Sept. 12-13 at Bone Creek

Anglers, club

Harlan/Landis, Kickback

Fore/O'Neill, Kickback

Crane/Opheim, Kickback

Hutchinson/Blackburn, Bobcat Bass

Revel/Lujano, Buhler

Crosley/Curtis, Franklin County

Nimrod/Stephens, DeSoto

Ferguson/Amundson, Hawks

Kendrick/Bellomo, Hawks

Pegorsch/Brown, Bass Junkies

Tripe/Tripe, Bobcat Bass

Mains/Chapman, Legacy Christian

Roth/Sudermann, Kickback

Brummer/Minor, DeSoto

Baechle/O'Bannon, Kickback

Brundige/Neidlein, Kickback

Stone/Brown, Circle

Still/Brees, Capital City

Bylkas/Uphoff, Capital City


Sept. 12-13 at Bone Creek

Anglers, club

Emanuel/Bowen, Topeka Jr. Hawgs

Youngblood/Vielhauer, Bobcat Bass

Line/Phillips, Kickback

Hutchinson/Little, Bobcat Bass

Batesel/Ewing, Bobcat Bass

Sorenson/Franzen, Bobcat Bass

Markley/G. Denney, Bobcat Bass

Sheafer/Smith, LRC Wildcats

Beeson/Pappan, Cowley County

Razey/Stephens, Circle Jr. Club

C. Denney/Lawler-White, Bobcat Bass

Plum/Kiernan, Bobcat Bass

High school angler team of the year: Fideldy/Gover, Buhler

Youth angler team of the year: Herrman/Herrman, Topeka Jr. Hawgs