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Two-hundred teams competed in Bradley Roy’s 7th Annual High School Open in Kentucky!

Andrew Haney and Blake Marcrum of the Cardinal Fishing Team win the tournament.

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High school fishing is a big deal in Kentucky.

Two-hundred teams proved that on Oct. 12 when they competed in the 7th Annual Bradley Roy High School Open Presented by Covercraft on Lake Cumberland near Jamestown, Kentucky. The tournament – consisting of 177 high school teams and 23 junior high teams – was the largest-ever high-school fishing event in Kentucky.

Andrew Haney and Blake Marcrum of the Cardinal Fishing Team won the tournament with a combined weight of 12.09 pounds, while Micah Adams and Chase Rawlins of Estill County finished second with 11.42 pounds. Both teams earned qualifications for the 2020 Bassmaster High School National Championship. The dates and location of that event will be announced soon.

The big fish of the tournament, a 4.29-pound largemouth, was caught by the junior angler team of Zachary Hayes and Jase Greenwood of Oldham County.          

The annual tournament is sanctioned by the Kentucky Bass Nation and kicked off the 2019-20 season for many of the teams. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources provided a fish-release truck and authorized a special, one-day size-limit waiver so 12-inch smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass could be included in the weigh-in.

New this year

The top five teams of the Oct. 12 tournament qualified to compete in an additional Major League Fishing-style event on Oct. 13 that consisted of two 2.5-hour sessions separated by a 15-minute break.

Each team was assigned a tournament official who used manual score sheets and MLF-supplied scales. The teams convened at the boat ramp early to receive a map of the boundary lines, then were given 30 minutes to scout the fishable water. “Lines In” began at 7 a.m., and fans followed the competition on ScoreTracker Live. The event was also streamed with commentary on Roy’s Facebook page.

Sunday champions Will Carnes and Jason Denney of Lincoln County High School (7 pounds, 1 ounce) each received a $10,000 scholarship to Campbellsville University. They edged the second-place team of Micah Adams and Chase Rawlins of Estill County by 2 ounces. Adams and Rawlins finished runner-up on both days.

Significant scholarships for all teams were made possible by Covercraft, First Southern National Bank, The Cain Pole, A Few Good Men Fishing Tournament, LCR Contracting, City of Jamestown, Angler’s Outpost and Marine, and Land Big Fish.

Additional prizes from sponsors of the event and Bradley Roy included Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Triton Boats, Gruv, Solar Bat, D&L Tackle, Cabin Creek, Seaguar, and Whitetail Heaven Outfitters.

“There are so many aspects of this event that stand out in my mind – the number of boats, the quality of anglers, the new venue of Lake Cumberland, the addition of the catch, weigh, release day on Sunday,” said Roy. “But the one that stands out most is the addition of college scholarships. Winning these Campbellsville University scholarships is a life-changing event for the winning team. The investment these sponsors made in providing scholarships for all of the top teams is a huge deal, and I am so excited to look back in a few years and see how it helped these student anglers.”

Event officials echoed the sentiment.

“We are proud to support high school fishing and this great event,” said Jeff Jegelewicz, director of marketing at Covercraft. “To see students, coaches, volunteers, and the community so excited to be a part of a tournament like this is just awesome.”

“We were thrilled to host this event and so excited about the event having 200 boats,” said Nick Shearer of the Russell County Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud of our lake here and how ‘large’ it fishes for tournaments of this magnitude. We’re also excited to announce the 8th Annual Bradley Roy High School Open presented by Covercraft will again be hosted here by the city of Jamestown, Kentucky with the date to be determined.”

Event history

The Bradley Roy High School Open began was conceived eight years ago at the home of Anthony Roy, who serves as the event’s tournament director and is the father of Bradley Roy, who now competes on Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour. As a teenager, Roy won the first-ever Bassmaster Junior National Championship in 2004 and was looking for a way to give back.

Twenty-one teams competed in the first Bradley Roy Open in 2013 on Cedar Creek Lake. Herrington Lake hosted the next five events with registration held each year at Angler’s Outpost and Marine, a Mercury-certified dealership. Growth in the tournament prompted the move this year to the larger Lake Cumberland.

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