Meridian Star / Carpet Mart Plus casting contest
By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
Aug. 23, 2002
The first Meridian Star/Carpet Mart Plus casting contest was a huge success with over 100 participants competing for cash, trophies and prizes. Matthew Bickham of Chunky took first place in the ten and under division with a score of 80 points. Matthew won a rod and reel combo and a tackle box to go with his first place trophy.
Coming in a close second was 9-year-old Kimmesha Roberts with 70 points. Kimmesha has just recently moved to Meridian from Virginia and by all accounts might just show the boys a thing or two about casting. Roberts won a rod and reel combo and a nice trophy to boot.
There was a tie for third place between West Lauderdale students Mitchell Winstead and Kevin Chappell. These two young anglers then locked horns in a cast off that provided plenty of fireworks and excitement. In fact, after 3 rounds they still were tied. Finally, seven-year-old Chappell broke the ice and came out on top in the last round. For his efforts Chappell won a rod and reel combo, a third place trophy and a subscription to Mississippi Woods and Waters Magazine.
Not to be left out, Winstead won a tackle box and a subscription to Mississippi Woods and Waters Magazine. These two young lads displayed real grit and sportsmanship in their duel for third place.
Trey Johnson of Collinsville took top honors in the 11-15 age category by hitting two bull's-eyes in the flipping and pitching portion of the competition for a total of 100 points. Johnson, a West Lauderdale ninth grader, was triumphant in his first casting contest. Fishing is one of his favorite hobbies. He likes to cast buzz baits in local ponds and really enjoys catching fish. Johnson's first place finish garnered him a Team Daiwa Rod and Pinnacle Reel, tackle box and first place trophy.
Another West Lauderdale student, sixth grader Justin Giles, came in a close second with 90 points. Giles won a casting competition held in Highland Park earlier in the summer. Justin was the only participant in this division to score points at all three stations, which included flipping, pitching and casting. For his efforts he won a Garcia Advantage rod and reel combo and tackle box along with a second place trophy.
Third place went to Chris Walters. Walters won a rod and reel combo and tackle box to go with the third place trophy. Riley Payne of Meridian and Colby Long of Butler finished in a tie for fourth place. Payne won a rod and reel combo and Long won a tackle box.
Open division champ
Joe Giles of the Martin community broke open a first place deadlock between two other anglers with a fine round of pitching and casting. Giles took the top honors and the $100 prize by scoring a total of 140 points in the winner take all contest.
This year's casting contest was a big success due to the work of several people and sponsors. The Meridian Star and Carpet Mart Plus were the primary sponsors for the event. Collum's Baits, Frank Tillman and Bill Hicks also donated bait packs and tackle that was distributed among the winners and first 80 participants. If this year's contest was any indication, the angling future will only be bigger and better for our area youth. Any winners who haven't received their prizes should contact Mike Giles at 626-8843 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.