TRIMBLE - After claiming the inaugural Cullman Alabama High School Bass Fishing Classic title last year, the Good Hope Raiders had a solid game plan to make sure the team trophy remained on campus for another 365 days.
The Raiders did just that on Saturday at Smith Lake, overcoming early morning fog and windy conditions to take command in the team competition, compiling 44.26 pounds of bass among their top three boats.
A total of 47 boats with approximately 94 anglers were part of the second annual event that started around sunrise due to fog on the lake.
Good Hope's trio of boats averaged around 14 pounds of bass fish per boat, having a superior advantage over second place Cullman, who collected 25.06 pounds.
Cold Springs came behind Cullman for third place with a total of 20.94 pounds. Fairview was in the fourth in the team standings with 16.06 of bass fish.
West Point and Vinemont also had a series of teams to round out the competition in the finale for the anglers during the high school season.
Christian Dickerson and Will Simmons excelled for the Raiders with the most weight of bass fish, a total of 16.41 pounds. These two edged out Good Hope teammates Cole McDonald and Charlie Harbison who took the runner-up position with 14.38 pounds of live bass.
In third place were Colton Williams and Landon Graham who tallied 13.58 pounds.
The 2015 individual champions Dylan Byrd and Hunter McClendon from Cold Springs were fourth overall with 12.81 pounds. Good Hope's James Wright and Blake Barrett were right behind the Cold Springs' tandem with 12.27 pounds for fifth place then Kyle Calvert from the Raiders grabbed the No. 6 position at 10.44 pounds.
Simmons said it was the best day he had in numerous events at Smith Lake. Simmons reported the fog at sunrise affected him and Dickerson early, then they were able to get into a groove.
"We started to fish well once it got 10 o'clock," he said. "We were able to lock in some spotted bass and finished well from there."
Dickerson said it was great to end the high school season by defending their team title in the tournament that pits all of the public high schools in Cullman against one another. "We had a very good day."
Simmons, Wright and Barrett just completed their prep fishing careers in winning style. Next Saturday, all three will receive their diplomas as 2016 graduates of Good Hope High School when the ceremony takes place at Wallace State's Tom Drake Coliseum.
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