Olathe East, Louisburg youth anglers riding hot streak into Table Rock qualifier

Buhler's Nathan Fideldy announces he will fish collegiately for Drury

Josh Rouse
Topeka Capital-Journal
From left, Olathe East anglers Miguel Cooper and Wyatt Peterson hold up their first-place trophies following the second Kansas BASS Nation High School qualifier of the season Oct. 3 on Melvern Reservoir. They will look to make it two straight wins on March 13 when they compete at Table Rock Lake in Missouri.
  • Louisburg youth team of Lucas Sheafer, Steele Smith on three-tourney win streak dating back to state
  • Olathe East Hawks teams have won back-to-back KBN high school qualifiers
  • High school, youth teams to compete March 13 and 14, respectively, at Table Rock Lake
  • Buhler's Nathan Fideldy signs with Drury University Bass Team

After a long winter break, dozens of young anglers will look to thaw out and get back into the grind as the second half of the 2020-21 Kansas BASS Nation Youth/High School season kicks off next weekend with a qualifier at Table Rock Lake in Missouri.

On the high school side, the Olathe Hawks club enters the back half of the season on a two-tournament win streak, with Wyatt Peterson and Miguel Cooper posting a victory Oct. 3 with a 10.37-pound bag on Melvern Reservoir in a record-setting field of 46 boats. 

This time around on Table Rock, the high school field looks likely to hit 50 boats, according to KBN youth director Travis Burch.

“We may set another record,” Burch said of the March 13 high school event. “Which is amazing. Just keeps growing and growing.”

Burch said he estimated the KBN would bring in roughly $50,000 in revenue to Branson, Mo., the host city, between lodging, fuel, restaurants and other tourist revenues.

"Branson Chamber of Commerce is excited to have Branson as a host city and to show off their triple-crown bass lake," Burch said. "There are very few lakes where our anglers can weigh in all three species of black bass in a tournament. We are looking for other cities that want to host our youth program."

A week before Peterson and Cooper’s victory, fellow Hawks Tyler Kendrick and Ian Bellomo tallied 11.86 pounds during the season opener Sept. 26 on Perry Reservoir to edge out Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman, of Lenexa's Legacy Christian, who finished as runners-up with 9.75 pounds.

Kansas City-based Kickback Club followed closely behind in both events, with Dayne Kobriger and Logan Mothersbaugh taking third and Logan Baechle and Cole O'Bannon fourth in the season opener and Cale Harlan and Derek Landis taking second on Melvern.

Harlan and Landis currently sit in first place in the KBN high school season standings after the two events with 184 total points.

Buhler’s Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover are currently tied for second on the season with Keiron and Quincy Langston, of Kickback Club, with 176 points, followed by fourth-place Baechle and O’Bannon (168). Kickback’s Peyton Fore and Sam Myers are tied for fifth with Louisburg’s Brady Daniels and Cameron McClellan, of Franklin County-based OutCast Bass Club, at 164.

The Topeka-based Capital City Club team of Brock Herrman and Brooks Linnebur are tied for seventh in the season standings with Mains and Chapman (156).

Buhler High School senior angler Nathan Fideldy on Thursday announces his decision to join the Drury University Fishing Team after graduation.

College plans

Fideldy, a senior at Buhler, announced his plans to fish collegiately at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., on Thursday evening via Facebook.

Fideldy and Gover were named the 2019-20 Kansas BASS Nation High School Angler Team of the Year and made the Topeka Capital-Journal’s First-Team All-State Bass Fishing Team in its inaugural year. 

Fideldy will join fellow Kansans Hunter Baird, a Salina product, and Brock Bila, of Louisburg, on coach Rick Emmitt’s Panther squad next season.

The Drury program sat in 10th place nationally in the most recent BASS School of the Year polling as of Feb. 2.

Louisburg youth duo dominant

In the youth division, Louisburg’s Lucas Sheafer and Steele Smith began their title defense in dominant fashion with a season-opening win Sept. 27 on Perry, followed by their third straight win in four weeks on Oct. 4 at Melvern (7.66 pounds).

The pair will look to equal a mark set by Topekans Nick and Kyle Herrman last season when they head to Table Rock on March 14 for the youth qualifier. The Herrman twins won their first four KBN youth tournaments in 2019-20 before making the jump to the high school ranks this season.

To add to Louisburg's early accomplishments this season, the Wildcats finished 1-2 in the Oct. 4 event, as well, with Bryce Collins and Hayden Smith taking second place with 4.81 pounds.

Sheafer and Smith currently sit in first place in the KBN youth season rankings with a perfect 200 points, with Collins and Smith in third with 178. Carter Coad and Gage Mains, of Legacy Christian, sit between the Louisburg teams in second place with 188 points on the season.

Locally, the Topeka Jr. Hawgs team of Avery Bowen, of Topeka, and Laiken Emanuel, of Ozawkie, currently sit in eighth in the youth division. The Herrman brothers, meanwhile, are ranked 20th in the high school division.

New sponsors

Burch said the KBN youth program has added two new sponsors this year in Mike Bean-Shelter Insurance and TemptationTackle.com, in addition to its six existing sponsors.

Those existing sponsors are Wholesale Batteries, KastKing, BalZout LLC, DW Creative Marketing, Bustin' Lips and Burch's company, K-Guard Heartland.

For more information on competing in either the youth or high school division or in sponsoring the KBN, contact Travis Burch by phone at 913-562-4660 or by email at travis.burch@kguardkansascity.com.

KANSAS BASS NATION

Season leaders through two events

HIGH SCHOOL

Anglers, club;Total points

Harlan/Landis, Kickback;184

Fideldy/Gover, Buhler;176

K. Langston/Q. Langston, Kickback;176

Baechle/O’Bannon, Kickback;168

Fore/Myers, Kickback;164

Daniels/McClellan, Outcast;164

Herrman/Linnebur, Capital City;156

Mains/Chapman, Legacy;156

Kobriger/Mothersbaugh, Kickback;152

Bean/Dobbs, MHK;150

YOUTH

Anglers, club;Total points

Sheafer/Smith, Louisburg;200

Coad/Mains, Legacy;188

Collins/Smith, Louisburg;178

Staines/Barkley, Kickback;176

Wolf/Cowman, Circle;174

Loewen/Granthaim, Basehor-Linwood;172

Denney/Lawler-White, Basehor-Linwood;172

Emanuel/Bowen, Topeka Jr. Hawgs;170

Clevenger/Fox, Circle;158*

Grantham/Golder, Basehor-Linwood;158*

*10-way tie