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Hollie Reagan from Walters State Community College, left, and Briana Tucker of Hartselle (Ala.) High School recently became the first female signees for the Bryan College fishing program.

The third 2017 tournament in the FLW Tour series begins today on the Harris Chain of lakes in Central Florida, after February events on Lake Guntersville in northeastern Alabama and Lake Travis in Texas.

Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark., and Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., finished first and second in both tournaments last month. In the Tour's 20-year history, no one ever had won back-to-back tournaments in Fishing League Worldwide's top series, and having the same runner-up makes the achievement all the more remarkable.

That's $250,000 in winnings so far this year for Rose, by the way.

Former Ooltewah resident Jay Kendrick of Grant, Ala., is 17th in the point standings, and Dayton's Michael Neal is 19th. Wesley Strader of Spring City and Andy Morgan of Dayton, the Tour's angler of the year three of the last four seasons, are 33rd and 34th.

Bryan signs two girls

Bryan College fishing coach Mike Keen has steered the Dayton school's bass program to No. 2 behind Auburn University in the Cabela's school of the year rankings, and recently he added another significant two to its history: the first female signees.

Hollie Reagan from Seymour, Tenn., by way of Walters State signed first and soon was joined by Briana Tucker of Hartselle (Ala.) High School. They have become good friends and will be college roommates, according to Keen.

"We've looked for a pair of ladies for a long time," he said in a school release. "We haven't been able to find the right Bryan fit until now."

Actually he had looked specifically at Reagan for three years, but she decided to go to the junior college close to her home. Walters State doesn't have a fishing team, but Reagan has continued to compete with her father in numerous tournaments.

Tucker has participated in bass tournaments since she was 8 and has done well in many over the years. Last October she won the Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge on Pickwick Lake and had the biggest fish as well as the top five-fish limit.

"Both own their own boats and are well versed (in operating them)," Keen said. "They'll be paired up together in the same boat, making a true female team that will compete with the best of them."

Tucker plans to major in business, while Reagan is set for pre-nursing and wants to be a flight nurse.

Hixson archery champ

Hixson clearly has some straight-arrow students in its high school and its middle school.

Led by girls' winner Brenna Walker and boys' victor Addison Flanigan, Hixson won the high school competition at the fifth annual Hamilton County Archery Tournament last Saturday — for the fourth year in a row. And girls' champion Katie Arnold and boys' champion Caden Gilley led Hixson Middle to its division title.

Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts was the elementary team winner, and CSLA's MacKensie Twitty was the top elementary girl. Micah Barnett of Boyd-Buchanan was the first-place boy.

The 2017 competition was held at East Brainerd Church of Christ and included more than 100 archers from eight schools. As in the previous years, the event was sponsored by the Tennessee Valley chapter of SCI.

Contact Ron Bush at rbush@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6291.

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