OHS anglers reel in a ticket to nationals

ST. AUGUSTINE — Two members of the Okeechobee High School Bass Club are moving on to compete at the national level after coming in second place in the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation High School Tournament on Dec. 14 and 15 on the St. Johns River.

Kyle Zainitzer and Tyler Scott snagged a second place finish in the tournament with a final bag of 13.85 pounds.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/OHS Bass Club
Kyle Zainitzer (left) and Tyler Scott (right) with their national qualifier trophies.

The weather was an issue throughout the tournament; in fact, the first day of fishing had to be canceled due to high winds. Still, the Okeechobee duo was able to overcome the chilly temperatures and choppy conditions to bring home a trophy.

Zainitzer and Scott have been putting together a successful year on the water for the OHS Bass Club.

Back on Nov. 23 the pair secured a fourth place finish during a Florida B.A.S.S. Nation tournament held on the Harris Chain of Lakes with a bag weighing 15.28 pounds.

Out of 155 teams competing in that tournament, Okeechobee fielded four teams in the top 20. Jay Krall finished with 10.81 pounds, giving him 12th place, Raith Sales and Rafe Sexton landed 10.73 pounds, securing them a 15th place finish, and Trent Nelson and Wyatt Cannon weighed in with 10.48 pounds, which earned them 19th place.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/OHS Bass Club
Tyler Scott (right) and Kyle Zainitzer (left) with the fish that helped propel them to nationals.

Zainitzer and Scott also came home with a seventh place finish during a tournament held in Bainbridge, Ga., on Nov. 3. The team was able to place in the top 10 out of 113 teams competing in the tournament.

The OHS Bass Club has made a habit of sending teams to nationals.

Last season the club had three teams qualify for nationals, Justin Hevey and John Pearce, Latt Durrance and Case Durrance and Wyatt Cannon and Trent Nelson.

The 2020 Bassmaster’s National High School Championship is scheduled to ttake place in Tennessee next year at a site yet to be determined.

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