National Finalists Set For National Finals of
MOBILE, Ala. (April 28, 2001)—Ten youths have
advanced from the BASSMASTER CastingKids semifinals to the popular program’s
national championship to be held this summer in New Orleans. The event
attracted 94 youths from 46 states and the province of Ontario.
Presented by Chevy Trucks, CastingKids is a
nationwide program that promotes fishing, environmental stewardship, and
family values to youths ages 7 to 14. Thousands of contests are held
nationwide each year, with the program culminating in the semifinals held
today and then the national championship held during bass fishing’s world
The program has two age divisions—7 to 10 and 11
to 14—with five finalists representing each of the B.A.S.S. Chapter
Federation’s geographical divisions. The 10 finalists will compete for a
total of $21,000 in college scholarship funds when the championship is held in
New Orleans this August.
National finalists in the 7-10 age division are
Nick Anderson, Sparta, Wis. (Northern), Dylan Schaefer, St. Mary’s, Ga.
(Southern), Jessica Digman, Sykesville, Md. (Eastern), Steven Nodine,
Carlsbad, N.M. (Western) and Ory Schuman, Lincon, Neb. (Central).
The 11 to 14 division finalists are Randy Helms,
Stillwater, Minn. (Northern), Federick Phillips, St Pauls, N.C. (Southern),
Jon Laukhuff, Beech, Pa. (Eastern), Andy Whilden, Craig, Col. (Western) and
Dustin Plunkett, Lawton, Okla. (Central).
This semifinals marked the first time a cast-off
was not required to determine finalists in the 7 to 10 age division.
Competition in the 11 to 14 division will be tough—Phillips, Laukhuff and
Whilden each had perfect scores of 150 points. What is more, 13-year-old Helms
has been in the program since 1997 and is the sibling of Tami Helms, 18, who
won consecutive national championships in 1996-97.
“I’m excited about getting to finally have a
chance to win a championship,” said Randy Helms. “It would mean a lot to
my family since we’d have two championships.” Between Randy, Tami and
15-year-old brother Brian, the family has racked up eight state titles and two
national championships in seven years.
The object of CastingKids is to hit a bull’s eye
target with a hookless lure. Each contestant flips to the target from 10 feet
away, pitches at 20 feet and casts from 30 feet. A perfect score is 150
Sponsors of BASSMASTER CastingKids presented by
Chevy Trucks are: the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, Zebco, Mercury Marine,
Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Pennzoil Marine, Long John Silver’s Restaurants,
Ranger Boats and Berkley Power Bait.