Last year the Grizzly Bass Masters team of Jon Loya and Lucas Gerondakis qualified to fish in the National Championship in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on the mighty Mississippi river due to being the number one ranked team in the country.
This year, in the first qualifier of the year held at Clearlake, the team of Riley Maloney and Sam Houston (a homeschool student) qualified for the National Championship in Anderson, South Carolina.
Yesterday, at the Delta out of Big Break Marina in Oakley, the California High School State Championship was held. This too is a qualifier as the FLW (Forest Lake Whitaker) invite the top 10 percent of teams to attend the National Championship. The team of Maloney and Houston qualified again by bringing in 16.5 lbs., good for 7th place out of a field of 73 boats.
Even though the team of Gerondakis and Loya finished 4th in the state this season, they had yet to earn an invitation to the National Championship. Well, in dramatic fashion the dynamic duo brought in 16.7 pounds, good for 6th place and more importantly back to back invitations to the National Championship to be held on Lake Hartwell. The boys will begin traveling on June 22nd, and return on July 7th.
If you see these boys, please give them a well earned shout out. They have put in an incredible amount of time and money (as have their captains) to make this happen. To say I am "proud" is an understatement. Riley Maloney and Lucas Gerondakis have fished on the team since they were in the 7th grade here. Their dedication and hard work will be honored at the National Championship in front of a field of over 400 boats that will be competing as well as all graduating seniors.