Big ‘O’ Teen Anglers wrap up 2019 with annual banquet

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Members of the Big ‘O’ Teen Angers back row left to right: Tanner Seabolt, Cayden Durrance, Raqyn Mohney, Tyler Alexander, Mason Davis, Rafe Sexton, Raith Sales, Tyler Alexander and Alex Figueroa. Front row: Beckham Nelson, Matthew May, Korbyn Lewis, Lane Davis and Brian Holtkamp.

OKEECHOBEE — The Big ‘O’ Teen Anglers wrapped up their 2019 season with their annual end of the year banquet. This year’s banquet took place Jan. 17 at Pogey’s Family Restaurant where our anglers, families and boat captains enjoyed a delicious dinner and dessert.

Dinner found all of the family, friends and captains enjoying a vast array of potluck dishes, casseroles, and wonderful pulled pork. The club would like to give an extra special thank you to Doug and Sandy Vest of Pogey’s for allowing us the use of their restaurant for our banquet this year as well as our meetings throughout the year.

After mealtime, the awards banquet was held where the following anglers received top awards:
In the 11-15 Age Group:
• 2019 Angler of the Year was Tanner Seabolt with 483.90 points and 26.87 pounds;
• Second place was awarded to Korbyn Lewis with 479.90 points and 28.94 pounds;
• Third place award went to Ragyn Mohney with 449.20 points and 36.21 pounds.
• The Big Fish Award went to Ragyn Mohney with a 5.10 pound fish!
In the 16-19 Age Group:
• 2019 Angler of the Year was Raith Sales with 437.30 points and 20.27 pounds;
• Second place went to Alex Figueroa with 405.70 points and 35.73 pounds;
• Third place was awarded to Tyler Scott with 353 points and 42 pounds;
• The Big Fish Award went to Alex Figueroa for his 5.36 pound fish;
• and, let’s not forget who won the Smallest Fish award this year … Brian Holtkamp for his 0.51 pound catch!

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Boat Captains from left to right John Sales, Billy Ellerbee, Herman Parker, Jim Newell, Terry Seabolt & Brian Casey.

Each year one of the boat captains receives a special award for his/her boat catching the most weight. This year that award went to Herman Parker, second year in a row, with a nice total catch of 79.24 pounds. Congratulations Herman! The kids love fishing with you!

The club, anglers, and their parents would like to thank the following sponsors for our 2019 season: Lake Okeechobee News, Garrard Bait & Tackle, Walpole, Pogey’s Restaurant, Lakeshore Marine, Eli’s Western Wear, Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters, Triton Drywall Inc, Fast Break, Brahman Theaters III, The Bail Girl, Buckhead Ridge Volunteer Fire Dept, Buckhead Ridge Community Center and Brian’s Smoked Fish Dip.
The club, anglers, and their parent would like to give an extra special thank you to our 2019 Banquet Sponsors: Leif Garrard of Garrard Bait & Tackle, Mike Krause of Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters, Chase Marsocci of Fast Break Tackle Shop and Cam Woods of Cam’s Mobile Marine. Thank you again!

We know and recognize that without the help and generosity of the above mentioned sponsors, our club, anglers, and our end of the year banquet simply wouldn’t be possible. These businesses pour time, energy, and their own money into future generations of anglers. We truly cannot thank them enough.Big We would also like to thank the following 2019 volunteer boat captains: Herman Parker, Jim Newell, Billy Ellerbee, John Sales, Norris Newhouse, Dan Powell, Buster McMillan, Terry Seabolt, Larry Wise and Brian Casey.
Our captains are vital to the success of our club and the future of responsible fishing on our lake and surrounding lakes. They too, give of themselves voluntarily and tirelessly and give many of our anglers an opportunity they would otherwise never have. We thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.

Finally, we would like to thank those in our local community who come out to show your support at our fundraising events. Without the sponsors and public’s generosity, this club would not be able to continue to mentor these wonderful children and young adults.

The 2020 season began on Jan. 25, at Okee-Tantie Park and the next tournament will be held at Okee-Tantie on Feb. 29. Weigh ins are at 1 p.m., so if you think your child would be interested in joining a great youth fishing club, please feel free to bring them to see a weigh in. The kids are excited to start another year and we hope you make it a point to pick up the paper and read about their successes each month. See you next year!

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