Texas Seventh-Graders Stand Tall on Toledo Bend

High School Central Open, Toledo Bend Reservoir, March 15, 2015

MANY, La. — Logan O’Dell and Blaine Marks of Buna High School in Texas wanted badly to fish shallow during Sunday’s Costa Bassmaster High School Central Open on Toledo Bend Reservoir.


With spring finally in the air, they knew the lake’s giant largemouth would be making their way toward the shallows to spawn, and they wanted to go after them.

But every time they moved in, their team captain Brandon Marks forced them to back off — and his good coaching led to a five-bass limit that weighed a tournament-best 17 pounds, 12 ounces.

The big bag was just enough to help O’Dell and Marks past the Louisiana team of Nicholas Wiggins and Lane Possoit of Natchitoches Central High School, who placed second with 17-11.

“I called seven timeouts, and I said the same thing to them with every one of them,” Brandon Marks said. “We were fishing main-lake points, and they kept wanting to move in and fish the shallow grass. I kept telling them they needed to be fishing 10 to 12 feet of water because this little cool snap we’re having this weekend has backed the fish off a little bit.”


O’Dell and Marks caught their fish using Carolina rigged 6-inch Zoom lizards in gourd green. Their catch was anchored by a largemouth that weighed 7-11.

“We caught fish steadily throughout the day,” O’Dell said. “We actually culled two fish this afternoon that ended up putting us over the top.”

Despite their good day, they were surprised that 17-12 was enough.


“We really expected somebody to come in with 25 pounds,” Marks said. “We thought we probably had enough to get in the Top 5, but we didn’t expect to win it. It’s something I’ll remember forever.”

O’Dell and Marks earned a $500 check made out to their high school and an automatic berth into the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship. They also earned the right to fish with select Elite Series pros Saturday in Orange, Texas, as part of the High School Elite Experience presented by Costa.

Wiggins and Possoit also qualified for the National Championship and the Elite Experience, taking a little of the sting out of their 1-ounce loss. But they couldn’t help but think what might have been.

“I think we had maybe eight bites all day, and we caught five of them,” Wiggins said. “Our two smallest fish of the day weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces. We know for sure those other bites would have culled, and all we needed was an ounce.”

For a brief moment, O’Dell’s 7-11 lunker ranked as the largest bass ever caught in a Bassmaster High School event, after eclipsing the previous record of 7-5. But the mark was shattered again during Sunday’s weigh-in when Logan Bourque and Conner Chappell brought an 8-8 largemouth to the scales.

A new feature of the high school events this year is the “Costa Moment,” awarded for a moving act of courage, kindness or courtesy identified on stage during the weigh-in.

The honor for this event went to Andrew Marcantel of Louisiana’s Sulphur High School. In a field packed with anglers wearing modern equipment, Marcantel was sporting the vintage Ranger Boats hat that belonged to his late grandfather, Jerry Rice.

“He passed away back in 2007, and I’ve been wearing it ever since,” Marcantel said. “If it ever blows off my head, I’ll have to go swimming for it. It means that much to me. He meant the world to me.”

In a field of 119 boats, the Top 17 teams earned a check and the Top 12 teams qualified for the National Championship.

In a field of 119 boats, the Top 17 teams earned a check and the Top 12 teams qualified for the National Championship.Standings   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$1.  Logan O'Dell           Buna, TX                 5  17-12    0  Day 1: 5   17-12   2.  Nicholas Wiggins       Natchitoches, LA         5  17-11    0  Day 1: 5   17-11   3.  Will Moffett           Natchez, MS              5  16-11    0  Day 1: 5   16-11   4.  Devin Prine            Buna, TX                 5  15-12    0  Day 1: 5   15-12   5.  Mason Arnaud           Port Neches, TX          5  14-02    0  Day 1: 5   14-02   6.  Cole Moore             Anacoc, LA               4  14-02    0  Day 1: 4   14-02   7.  Hunter Courvelle       Lake Charles, LA         5  13-02    0  Day 1: 5   13-02   8.  Christian Mathews      Stonewall, LA            5  13-00    0  Day 1: 5   13-00   9.  Levi Areno             Sulphur, LA              5  12-12    0  Day 1: 5   12-12   10. Andrew Marcantel       Sulphur, LA              5  12-04    0  Day 1: 5   12-04   11. Trace O'Dell           Buna, TX                 5  11-12    0  Day 1: 5   11-12   12. Tristin Burt           Buna, TX                 5  11-10    0  Day 1: 5   11-10   13. Tyler Meeks            Hemphill, TX             5  11-00    0  Day 1: 5   11-00   14. Jordan Gilcrease       Keithville, LA           5  10-14    0  Day 1: 5   10-14   15. Alex Lamabe            Baton Rouge, LA          5  10-13    0  Day 1: 5   10-13   16. Saige Hessifer         Sulphur, LA              5  10-11    0  Day 1: 5   10-11   17. Jordan Mullis          BLOOMINGTON, IN          3  10-10    0  Day 1: 3   10-10   18. Logan Bourque          Sulphur, LA              2  10-01    0  Day 1: 2   10-01   19. Ty Moorhead            Jasper, TX               5  09-13    0  Day 1: 5   09-13   20. Blake Fontenot         Lake Charles, LA         5  09-10    0  Day 1: 5   09-10   21. Cade Crow              Denham Springs, LA       3  09-10    0  Day 1: 3   09-10   22. Nathan Mitchell        Lake Charles, LA         4  09-03    0  Day 1: 4   09-03   23. Seth Cooper            Ragley, LA               4  09-02    0  Day 1: 4   09-02   24. William Dion           Sulphur, LA              5  09-00    0  Day 1: 5   09-00   25. Kreston Richardson     Buna, TX                 4  08-09    0  Day 1: 4   08-09   26. Nathan Flemmons        Welsh, LA                4  08-06    0  Day 1: 4   08-06   27. Wesley Holt            Otis, LA                 3  07-15    0  Day 1: 3   07-15   28. Hunter Muncrief        Pineland, TX             4  07-14    0  Day 1: 4   07-14   28. Trey Selman            Port Neches, TX          4  07-14    0  Day 1: 4   07-14   30. David Sourdellia       Orange, TX               4  07-13    0  Day 1: 4   07-13   31. Cavin Courville        Lake Charles, LA         3  07-13    0  Day 1: 3   07-13   32. Brandon Pittman        Pineville, LA            5  07-08    0  Day 1: 5   07-08   33. Emily Hamilton         Huntington, TX           4  07-05    0  Day 1: 4   07-05   34. Garrett Brown          Dry Prong, LA            3  07-05    0  Day 1: 3   07-05   35. Ashley Batey           Pineville, LA            5  07-03    0  Day 1: 5   07-03   36. Annabelle Guins        Lake Charles, LA         2  06-15    0  Day 1: 2   06-15   37. Christian Haggenmacher Denham Springs, LA       1  06-15    0  Day 1: 1   06-15   38. Braden Berryman        Kirbyville, TX           3  05-13    0  Day 1: 3   05-13   39. Levi Nelson            TUSCALOOSA, AL           2  05-10    0  Day 1: 2   05-10   40. Jacob McRae            Shreveport, LA           2  05-08    0  Day 1: 2   05-08   41. Joshua Dupree          Haughton, LA             3  05-06    0  Day 1: 3   05-06   42. Matthew Myers          Carencro, LA             2  05-05    0  Day 1: 2   05-05   43. Nolan Haney            Buna, TX                 1  05-05    0  Day 1: 1   05-05   44. Daniel Stanford        Center, TX               1  05-03    0  Day 1: 1   05-03   45. Kyle McAllen           Stonewall, LA            2  05-01    0  Day 1: 2   05-01   46. Samuel Bergeron        Gonzales, LA             1  04-15    0  Day 1: 1   04-15   47. Dakota Cline           Lumberton, TX            3  04-14    0  Day 1: 3   04-14   48. Jake Biram             Tulsa, OK                2  04-13    0  Day 1: 2   04-13   49. Austin Busby           Provencal, LA            2  04-11    0  Day 1: 2   04-11   50. Cason Lewis            Pineville, LA            1  04-11    0  Day 1: 1   04-11   50. Matthew Romano         Prairieville, LA         1  04-11    0  Day 1: 1   04-11   52. Wes Rollo              Natchitoches, LA         2  04-05    0  Day 1: 2   04-05   52. John Waggenspack       Baton Rouge, LA          2  04-05    0  Day 1: 2   04-05   54. Tyler Pate             Stonewall, LA            2  04-03    0  Day 1: 2   04-03   55. Dalton Roberts         Hutchinson, KS           1  04-00    0  Day 1: 1   04-00   56. Taylor Cobb            Stonewall, LA            1  03-13    0  Day 1: 1   03-13   57. Jackson Hall           Arlington, TX            2  03-11    0  Day 1: 2   03-11   58. Joseph Bruener         Douglass, TX             2  03-10    0  Day 1: 2   03-10   58. Kody Kelly             Denham Springs, LA       2  03-10    0  Day 1: 2   03-10   60. Garett OBannon         Natchitoches, LA         2  03-07    0  Day 1: 2   03-07   61. Hunter Porter          TUSCALOOSA, AL           2  03-06    0  Day 1: 2   03-06   62. Hunter French          Buhler, KS               1  03-05    0  Day 1: 1   03-05   63. Pierce LaFleur         Ragley, LA               1  03-04    0  Day 1: 1   03-04   64. Riley Harris           Orange, TX               2  03-01    0  Day 1: 2   03-01   65. Briana Tucker          Moulton, AL              1  03-01    0  Day 1: 1   03-01   65. Jeffery White          Pineville, LA            1  03-01    0  Day 1: 1   03-01   67. Dailus Richardson      Benton, IL               2  02-15    0  Day 1: 2   02-15   68. Julia Swain            Lake Charles, LA         1  02-15    0  Day 1: 1   02-15   69. Laura Ann Foshee       Gardendale, AL           2  02-12    0  Day 1: 2   02-12   70. Logan Bruchhaus        Sulphur, LA              1  02-11    0  Day 1: 1   02-11   71. Caleb Dupre            Sulphur, LA              1  02-10    0  Day 1: 1   02-10   72. Kyle Little            Alexandria, LA           1  02-06    0  Day 1: 1   02-06   73. Grant Debetaz          Youngsville, LA          1  02-03    0  Day 1: 1   02-03   74. Jake Shepherd          Orange, TX               1  02-02    0  Day 1: 1   02-02   74. Zach Weiss             WAVERLY, AL              1  02-02    0  Day 1: 1   02-02   76. Drayden Richey         Lake Charles, LA         1  01-14    0  Day 1: 1   01-14   77. Ian Madere             Baton Rouge, LA          1  01-11    0  Day 1: 1   01-11   78. Troy Benefield         TUSCALOOSA, AL           1  01-08    0  Day 1: 1   01-08   79. Trace Bludworth        Douglass, TX             1  01-03    0  Day 1: 1   01-03   80. Zach Anderson          Gloster, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Braden Blanchard       St Amant, LA             0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Garret Brown           Stonewall, LA            0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Chandler Burgay        Timpson, TX              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Ashton Cates           Sulphur, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Logan Chaney           Lafayette, LA            0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Andrew Childers        Sulphur, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Derek Clark            Buna, TX                 0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Blake Dinkins          Shreveport, LA           0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. John Edwards           Gloster, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Chase Espinosa         Flowery Branch, GA       0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Colton Fountain        Kirbyville, TX           0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Cameron Gautreau       Prairieville, LA         0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Rashad Goodson         Florence, SC             0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Garrett Gray           Silsbee, TX              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Fisher Hardy           San Augustine, TX        0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Hunter Hollier         Sulphur, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Dustin Howell          Provencal, LA            0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Kalee Jones            COTTONDALE, AL           0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Spencer Lambert        West Monroe, LA          0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Louis Laville          Baton Rouge, LA          0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Joseph Lirette         Sulphur, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Hadden Lummus          Hemphill, TX             0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Mac Marcantel          Evadale, TX              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Hunter Martindale      Jasper, TX               0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Jacob McDaniel         Roxie, MS                0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Mason McGill           Nederland, TX            0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Landon Mitchell        Martaville, LA           0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Tyler Mora             Groves, TX               0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Hunter Nash            Evans, LA                0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Dylan Poche            Natchez, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Cameron Reed           Lake Charles, LA         0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Cole Robinson          Port Arther, TX          0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Hunter Scott           Friendswood, TX          0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Jonathan Suttle        Sulphur, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Mattea Tingle          Marksville, LA           0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Chaz Trahan            Port Neches, TX          0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Cord Tucker            Buna, TX                 0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   80. Drake Young            Sulphur, LA              0  00-00    0  Day 1: 0   00-00   

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Totals
  Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight              
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     1        20         221       545-08        
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               20         221       545-08
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