The Pell City Panthers won the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association State Championship Tournament at Lake Neely Henry held on May 16 and 17. The Panthers Bass Fishing team didn’t learn of their team champions until last week, due to the ASABFA computer malfunction the day of the tournament.

“I am so proud of all my students anglers,” Pell City head coach Curtis Gossett said. “They have worked hard to get better. I believe that communication and tournament experience played a large role in our success this year, especially the state championship. I have had this core group for three years now, and as a whole they did not have a great deal of tournament experience when we started our team. Now they have that tournament experience, and it has made a big difference. Also, our communication at tournaments and meetings has been so much better this year. That has made a big difference this year.” 

Pell City qualified for the state tournament on Feb. 15, finishing seventh at Lake Eufaula.

The top seven teams at each qualifier are invited to the State Championship. Each team that qualifies could send five two-person teams to the state championship. The Panthers were able to take four two-person teams to the championship. Pell City had three boats that finished in the top 25 of 225 boats.

The team of Bre Wyatt and Joseph Lacy finished 16th with a score 435.00 points. Zeke Gossett and Hayden Bartee finished 21st with 430.00 points, and Hunter Shell and Ryan Parks finished 25th with 426.00 points.

“Winning the team state championship could not have happened to a better group of students,” Gossett said. “We are not perfect by any means, but they represent their families, their high school, and their community really well at all of the tournaments, and that makes me proud as their coach. To win a state championship is something they can cherish for the rest of their lives. The city of Pell City should be very proud of this group.”

Fayetteville Bass Fishing Team had two teams that finished in the top 20. Seth Butts and Jonathan Harbin finished in seventh place with a score of 444.00 points. Caleb Dennis and Sloan Pennington finished 20th with a score of 431.00 points.

Munford’s Adam Hall and Matthew Bell finished ninth with a score of 442.00 points.

Childersburg’s Alec Nortega and Jesse Smith finished 18th with a score of 433.00 points.