The Topeka Capital-Journal unveiled its first Kansas High School All-State Bass Fishing Team this weekend, with 11 anglers from across the state making the first team and seven earning a second-team nod. Two anglers also earned honorable mention, bringing the total to 20 anglers.
The selection process takes into account both the Kansas BASS Nation (KBN) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) 2019-20 high school fishing seasons.
Four Topeka senior anglers made the team, with Shawnee Heights’ Parker Still and Ethan Haufler joined by Washburn Rural’s Logan Redeker on the first team. Heights’ Connor Brees, who teamed with Still during the KBN season but missed a few FLW events, gets a second-team nod.
Still, the most experienced of the four Topekans, had several notable finishes in the FLW. He placed second alongside Brees in the FLW High School State Championship and won the FLW High School Open on March 7 at Missouri’s Table Rock Lake alongside Ketchum, Okla., angler Austin Chandler. Still and Chandler then went on to finish 21st in the FLW World Finals on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.
Still and Brees also posted a top-five finish in the KBN season opener in September 2019 on Melvern Reservoir.
Haufler and Redeker teamed up for an FLW High School state championship on May 30 at Melvern Reservoir for their first high school win. They also finished 133rd out of 194 teams at the FLW High School Bass Fishing National Championship.
Buhler’s Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover, who earned KBN Angler Team of the Year honors thanks in large part to their consistency throughout the season, join the Topekans on the first team. Though they didn’t post a tournament victory in 2019-20, their highest finish was second at La Cygne, with fourth-place finishes in the online qualifier in June and season opener on Melvern.
Four members of the Kansas City-area Kickback Fishing Club earned first-team nods, with each earning at least one KBN qualifier win and all placing in the top five in multiple qualifiers this season.
Shawnee Mission West’s Luke Crane and Jackson Opheim posted three top-five finishes in the KBN, including a victory Oct. 5 at La Cygne Reservoir. Gardner-Edgerton’s Cale Harlan and Derek Landis won the KBN season opener on Melvern, finished runners-up July 25 at Milford Reservoir and took fifth at the FLW State Championship.
Legacy Christian’s Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman, both of Lenexa, round out the first team. Mains and Chapman took sixth at the FLW High School National Championship and 12th at the FLW World Finals to win an $80,000 scholarship offer. In addition, they took third at the FLW State Championship and third at the KBN season opener at Melvern.
Joining Brees on the second team are Shawnee Mission East’s Peyton Fore and Griffin O’Neill, who won the monthlong KBN online qualifier in June, finished third at La Cygne and also took fourth at the FLW State Championship.
Also on the second team are Basehor-Linwood’s Owen Blackburn and Colton Hutchinson and Ottawa’s Todd Crosley and Austin Curtis. Crosley and Curtis won the July 25 KBN event on Milford and finished fifth at the final qualifier this month on Wilson, finishing their first season out strong. Blackburn and Hutchinson posted two top-five finishes, capturing second in the online qualifier and third at Milford.
Earning honorable mention were Buhler’s Samuel Revel and Cole Lujano, who finished second at the KBN season opener on Melvern and fourth at Milford.
The Capital-Journal also will unveil its 2020 Kansas High School Fishing Team of the Year pick next Sunday.