For the second time in four years, members of the Franklin High School fishing team competed in the high school national championship on Kentucky Lake.
Juniors Parker Grefrath and Jacob Whitehurst qualified for the championship event by participating in a tournament trail sponsored by the Tennessee bass fishing chapter of the Bass Angler’s Sportsmen’s Society. After fishing eight events, they finished fourth in the overall season point standings to earn their invitation to the national event.
The team of Grefrath and Whitehurst finished 87th out of a field of 300 teams from the United States and Canada on the first day of competition. On the second day, they moved up to 61st, with three good bass while 129 teams came in with no fish at all.
The third and final day of the competition featured only the top 12 teams, ending the quest for the Franklin High team.
Grefrath and Whitehurst grew up fishing ponds around Williamson County before enrolling in high school and joining the team. Thanks to their success, both are hoping for another trip to the nationals next summer and looking forward to fishing at the collegiate level after high school.
High school fishing is a sport that is rapidly on the rise, with more than 5,000 teams and 13,000 participants nationally. At Franklin, it is a club sport that relies on a combination of friends, relatives and volunteers who own bass boats to take the teams fishing. Many local businesses sponsor the team, helping cover tournament entry fees, gas and oil for volunteer boat captains and occasional travel expenses.
During the 2018-19 season, which ran from September through this month, the Franklin team had 20 members, including one female student.
To volunteer as a boat captain, contact the team coach Mike Cottingham at 615-948-9161 or firstname.lastname@example.org