Grove, Okla. Oct. 3, 2011 – Spc. Jim Schatz of Midwest City, Okla., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on Grand Lake Friday, Sept. 30. Fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Lloyd Davenport of Stillwater, Okla., the tandem caught three bass for a total of 8 pounds, 10 ounces to take the title and bragging rights amongst his peers.
“I’m a huge fan of fishing but I am a terrible fisherman and I love to do it,” said Spc. Schatz. “I got myself a great partner and I learned a lot.
“This means a lot to be able come out and do something like this. I got back from Afghanistan last Oct. and I’ve wanted to get out and participate in some fun activities and meet new people and today I was able to do that.”
Each of the participants in the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament are members of the Oklahoma National Guard and most have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. In this tournament, Walmart FLW BFL boater took a member of the National Guard, fishing to compete amongst their peers. Each team was allowed to bring in three bass. FLW Outdoors is operating the tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.
“I jumped on the opportunity,” said Davenport. “I really enjoyed it. Jim was a lot of fun to fish with. He had a hard time netting the first fish, but that second and third one were pretty easy. This was a huge honor for me and I would definitely do it again.”
A total of 7 service men and women participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams were:
2nd: Jerry Saunders, Vinita, Okla., fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Jason Gilstrap, Owasso, Okla., three bass, 7-15
3rd: Staff Sgt. Charles Bush (Ret), Afton, Okla., fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Alton Wilhoit, Harrah, Okla., three bass, 6-15
4th: Pvt. 2 James Williams, Stillwater, Okla., fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Chris Torkelson, Sand Springs, Okla., three bass, 6-13
5th: Spc. Dylan Branham, McLoud, Okla., fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Paul Helton, Russellville, Ark., three bass, 5-14
6th: Sgt. Travis Stoeser, Oklahoma City, Okla., fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Bob Noble, one bass, 4-2
7th: Staff Sgt. Karen Sandlin, King Fisher, Okla., fishing with Walmart FLW BFL boater Chris Jones, Pocola, Okla., 0 bass
The Soldier Appreciation Tournament was held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW BFL event on Grand Lake which was hosted by Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.
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