E.D. White duo tackles state title in fishing
Thu. June 12, 2014 at 10:25 a.m. | By Kelly McElroy/Staff Writer
E.D. White Catholic anglers Brennen Cooley (left) and Ross Martin took home the high school state title on the Red River in Natchitoches with a five-fish total of 17.01 pounds. (Photo by Submitted )
The scenery may have been a little bit different than they are used to, but E.D. White Catholic anglers Brennen Cooley and Ross Martin didn't let that stop them from taking home a high school bass fishing state championship.
Fishing the Red River in Natchitoches the two-man team of Cooley and Martin, both heading into their junior years, bagged five bass weighing in at a combined 17.01 pounds to take home the state title over 34 other teams from high schools around the state in March.
"It was an awesome experience, and it was a goal since we started the fishing team at E.D. White," Cooley said. "It looks different up there, but the layout was kind of the same. The fish were in shallow water. We fished the same way we do down here."
Martin said there were some tense moments leading up the announcement that they won following the final weigh-in.
"At first, I wasn't even sure we had won," Martin said. "I didn't know the other team's weights, but when we were told that we had won, I was pretty excited."
E.D. White fishing coach David Constant said Cooley and Martin put in the work it takes to be excellent anglers.
"They are just two great character kids," Constant said. "They love to fish. They put in a lot of time on the water with their boat captain, which is Brennen's dad Shane Cooley. Brennen and Ross put the time. A lot of people talk about luck in fishing, but these kids really worked hard to find the fish. Being the first state fishing champions at E.D. White is quite an accomplishment. We want to thank Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and Cajun Outboards in Addis for their support and all the parents for what they do."
The Cardinals, who had 30 anglers on the team this season, just wrapped up their third year competing as a club sport and broke through with a state-title duo after a 10th-place finish two years ago and a fourth-place finish last season.
Martin took in the two biggest fish on the state title run — a 5-pounder and a 4-pounder — both on white lures. Cooley said he and Martin make a good team.
"We focus on fishing a lot," Cooley said. "We don't cut up or anything. We stay focused on what we are doing."
Cooley and Martin are now headed to a national regional competition later in the year.
"I think it will be tough, but I think it will be a good experience also," Cooley said. "It will be fun to go up against better competition."
Constant said putting a banner up at the school and getting Cooley and Martin state title rings to recognize the accomplishment is in the works.
WANT INFO ON HOW TO START A FISHING TEAM AT YOUR SCHOOL?
In conjunction with the E.D. White Catholic Cardinal Classic Fishing Rodeo set for June 28 at Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle, Constant is holding the First High School Saltwater Series Tournament that day at Bride Side in Grand Isle as well.
The scales open at 3 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. and the cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children for the E.D. White rodeo and $15 each for the student rodeo, which will feature redfish under 27 inches and biggest speckled trout categories.
"I want to highlight that tournament we are having June 28 because it will also feature a high school tournament," Constant said. "We will have food, shirts and door prizes. They can fish anywhere. We are trying to get kids from every school in the area and they are going to have their own tournament. We will have first, second and third places."
There are also categories for adults and children for rat reds, bull reds, speckled trout, mangrove snapper, lemon fish (cobia) and biggest crab (kids 7 and under) in the E.D. White rodeo.
Constant said he is urging all high students and their parents interested in starting a fishing team at their respective schools to attend and said he can help show them how to start the process.
"All these schools who really want to get their high school teams going will be attending," Constant said. "I need to get in touch with those kids who are interested so I can show them how to get a team started. I can meet with students and parents from different schools and we can have an information session on how to get the teams started because there are so many scholarship opportunities for these kids."
Prizes will be awarded for first-third place and food is free with entry fee. Music will be provided by John Daigle Jr. For information, contact Steve Pitre at 859-8665 or at email@example.com. Those interested in the high school portion of the rodeo must tell him the name of the student and the school of the student competing before the rodeo date.