Fishing tourney winners

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College celebrates 10 years of fishing tourney

1st place fishing winners

(from left) First-place overall finishers Chris Blankenship and Jason Ash pose with their $1,000 prize money at Tri-County Community College’s 10th Annual Fishing for Scholarships Tournament on April 7 at Lake Chatuge in Hayesville.

Despite grey skies and intermittent rain, nearly 60 teams eagerly revved their engines in the early morning light as they awaited the blast off countdown at the Tri-County Community College Foundation’s 10th Annual Fishing for Scholarships Tournament at Lake Chatuge on April 7.

“We are thrilled to have more than 100 anglers turn out for our 10th annual event this year,” said Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, president of Tri-County Community College, shortly before blast-off. “I want to personally thank every participant today for not only supporting our college, but more importantly, helping our students achieve their educational goals.”

More than $3,500 in prize money was handed out, while proceeds from the registration fees will fund two $1,000 scholarships for future Tri-County Community College students. The annual tournament is a joint effort by the Tri-County Bass Club and the Tri-County Community College Foundation.

The first-place overall prize of $1,000 went to teammates Jason Ash and Chris Blankenship of Whittier, with an impressive total haul of 24.13 pounds.

The remaining teams that placed overall were: second place Brandon and Jaxon Pace, both of Canton; third William Gibson and Danny Caldwell, both of Murphy; fourth place John Hyer of Murphy; and fifth place Johnny Brooks and Ronnie Brewer, of Lake Mount and Tiger, Ga. respectively.

First-place finishers Ash and Blankenship also took home the prize for biggest largemouth bass (8.12), while Skip and Jesse McKeral of Blairsville, Ga. won biggest spotted bass (4.90). Jake Cook and Luke Hunter, both of Sylva, also took home $100 prize money for smallest fish (1.34).

“After 10 fantastic years of support, we hope to see all of you back for our 11th annual tournament on April 6, 2019,” Tipton-Rogers said.

For more information regarding TCCC’s annual fishing tournament, call 837-6810.