Avery and Ethan

Zion Chapel’s Avery Padgett and Ethan Young competed June 3-4 in the state championship tournament, held on Lake Eufaula. Their two-day fish total of 23.72 pounds placed them 16th out of 217 boats in the state event.

The third year in the history of the Zion Chapel Bass Team is a wrap.  

The team closed the book on volume three of their tournament fishing the first weekend in June at Lake Eufaula.  In Zion Chapel’s three years of fishing the state championship, this was the first year for the tournament to be in south Alabama.

Only one of the three Zion Chapel teams qualified to fish in the state championship June 3 and 4, 2022.  Team Avery Padgett and Ethan Young was among the top finishers in the Tiger Division (south Alabama).  The top finishers in the Tide Division (north Alabama) of the Alabama BASS Nation also were included in this tournament.  A total of 217 boats qualified for this competition.  

Once again Padgett and Young were fishing with the best Alabama high school anglers. Despite the heat and few bites the first day, Padgett/Young weighed in a limit of five fish for 11.52 pounds.

Shortly after the weigh-in was in the books, a severe thunderstorm popped up and destroyed the team tent along with other team tents.  Apparently, the storm angered the alligators which are prevalent in this lake; one of them attacked the jack plate of Padgett’s boat while his captain Taylor Renfroe was trying to get it out of the water.  

The BASS Nation area also received considerable damage, and the area was off limits to members until the next morning while the game wardens did alligator control in the area.

During the night following the storm and in the pre-dawn hours of the second day of the tournament, the BASS Nation crew made ready for the early morning launch.  The anglers usually are in the water by 4:30 waiting for the safe-lite blast off following the playing of the national anthem and an opening prayer.

At the end of day two, Team Padgett/Young weighed in a limit of five fish for 12.20 pounds.  This gave them a two-day total of 23.72 pounds.  These results placed them sixteenth out of 217 boats.

Padgett and Young were the Freedom Marine contingency first place winners for which they received $1,000; this was their fifth time winning this award this season.

Avery Padgett and Ethan Young are qualified and registered for the BASSMASTER High School Combine.  They will be among only 100 anglers from all over the United States to participate in this combine at Lake Wheeler in Decatur, Ala., September 16-18, 2022.  Multiple college coaches will be there to meet, interview, and observe these young anglers.

The Zion Chapel Bass Team continues to be thankful for all their sponsors, community and family support, and boat captains.  They are also grateful for the dedication and work of Dana Stinson Haley, president, and Larry Campbell, vice-president, of this organization, for doing the groundwork to establish this team.  They continue to work tirelessly to keep this team on the water and catching fish.

Plans are under way for season four.  Any Zion Chapel High School student in grades 9-12, who is interested in becoming a ZCBT angler, is invited to attend an information/interest meeting Thursday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m.  For more information, call Dana Stinson Haley at 334-406-0498.

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