Local West Georgia student heads to national bass championship

alt

Kenny Johnson and Brandon Larry, who established the UWG Bass Club this year, qualified for the 2013 Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship in August in the club’s first ever fishing event earlier this year.

By DOUG GORMAN
dgorman@newnan.com
Newnan High School graduate Kenny Johnson loved baseball.
However, a shoulder injury derailed his career after his freshman season with the Cougars.
Johnson didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself. He turned his competitive fire from the baseball diamond to the water. These days Johnson spends a lot of time fishing in local tournaments.
His love of the sport also gave him the idea to form the University of West Georgia Bass Club.
“When I am not in class, I can usually be found on the water,” said Johnson, a freshman economics major.
Johnson admits fishing fills the void he has since having to give up baseball.
“I know there are a lot of former athletes who love fishing who for one reason or another that aren’t playing sports in college,” Johnson said. “This gives them a chance to still compete and have some fun.”
It didn’t take long for the University of West Georgia Bass Club to establish itself as a national power.
Competing in its very first College Series Regional Tournament, the West Georgia student anglers finished 10th out of 120 teams during the competition held on the Harris Chain of Lakes near Orlando, Fla.
Now, one of newest teams on the college bass fishing circuit has qualified for the Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championships to be held Aug 1-3 at the Chatuge Reservoir near Young Harris College.
Johnson and Brandon Larry led the way for West Georgia during a three-day tournament that included a slow start.
After the first day of competition at the Regional, West Georgia caught just one fish. The second day the anglers struck out, failing to land anything in their boat.
Things turned around for West Georgia in the third day of the competition, as it moved from 37th place to 10th place after finishing with a three-day total of 27 pounds.
West Georgia found itself fishing against more established clubs, some from Division-I schools, with big budgets and fancier equipment.
Although the University of West Georgia Bass Club gets some sponsorship money, a large portion of their expenses come out of their own pocket.
“It is tough some times to go up against those bigger schools,” he said. “Many of them are given boats by their sponsors. Some even have scholarship money. We just go out there and do the best we can.”



More Sports

High School Softball

Lady Indians anxious for return to Elite 8

This time last year, East Coweta's softball team had to buy a ticket at the gate of the South Commons Complex if they wanted to attend the E ... Read More


High School Softball

Newnan's 'royal' recovery provides boost

Newnan's softball program could be described as the Kansas City Royals of this week's GHSA Class AAAAAA Elite 8 Tournament, a team that many ... Read More


High School Football

Vikings look to stay on even keel in key subregion game

Northgate's football results in subregion 4A-AAAAA have run the gamut of emotions this season, from an overtime loss against Mundy's Mill, t ... Read More


One ‘Four’ the history books

Lady Indians trying to continue record season

It's been a season that East Coweta volleyball program won't soon forget. The Lady Indians have set a school record for wins, captured Area ... Read More


Young rivalry gaining steam

Playoff impications again at stake between Lions, Hawks

The football rivalry between The Heritage School and Trinity Christian hasn't made it through its first governor's term, let alone a preside ... Read More

High School Volleyball

Trinity sweeps to win fourth straight state title

For the fourth straight year, Trinity Christian head volleyball coach Joe Camp pulled out his lucky green plaid shorts from the bottom of h ... Read More