If fish are biting, then it won’t take long for the Warren County angling team to come around.
Members of the Pioneer angling team descended on Old Hickory Lake last weekend, taking part in a two-day state championship.
Pioneer standouts Samuel and Matthew Vandagriff were once again near the top of the field, finishing second out of 162 teams who cast the reels in search of the biggest bass. The brothers bagged five fish each day, with a total combined weight of 27.33 pounds.
The Vandagriffs held the lead after the first day, but Ezra Smith and Devin Howard surged on the second day to win the event, bringing in a combined weight of 32.73 pounds.
The Pioneers had eight teams compete in the event. Ethan Harris and Harley Muncey (10.37 pounds) finished 64th, followed by Jeff McCormick and Curtis Grissom (9.72 lbs., 69th), Will Prater and Aiden Grissom (9.41lbs., 71st), Blake Delong and Asa Robertson (9.19 lbs., 74th), Lane Lassister and Johnathan Walls (8.52 lbs., 77th), Jaymeson Hale and Easton Snider (7.46 lbs., 86th) and Jacob Frizzell and Trace Pack (1.17 lbs., 148th).
Along with taking in second over the weekend, the Vandagriffs were awarded for being the best bass fishing team in the state this year. The Vandagriffs won the TN Bass Nation points race, blowing away the competition by 31 points.
The brothers won on Center Hill Lake, took second in the state tournament and Battle of the Chick, and never finished lower than fourth in a tournament. The points race prize was a $2,000 scholarship to any school, along with a $40,000 scholarship offer to Bethel University. The brothers also took home $700 for second place.
Samuel capped the day by receiving the Hunter Northcutt Memorial merit scholarship worth $3,000.
The Vandagriffs will take part in the Bassmaster Texas Fest in two weeks, an event Samuel qualified for when he was named an All-American. The duo will also compete in the Bassmaster Nationals in August.