Buhler's Nathan Fideldy, Preston Gover win 2nd straight KBN Angler Team of the Year honors

Josh Rouse
Topeka Capital-Journal
From left, Buhler's Preston Gover and Nathan Fideldy hold up their first-place trophies following the Kansas BASS Nation High School season finale last weekend on Wilson Reservoir.

For the Buhler fishing team of Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover, their first career win couldn’t have come at a better time.

But given their past credentials, it’s almost incomprehensible that it’s their first win to begin with.

Nevertheless, the reigning Kansas BASS Nation High School Angler Team of the Year tallied a total of 18.19 pounds during its fourth and final qualifier April 10 on Wilson Reservoir to capture the AOY title once again and secure its spot in the state championship June 5-6 on Milford Reservoir.

“Getting my first win means a ton," Fideldy said. "I have been super close to winning with second- and third-place finishes. Going into this season, winning a tournament and getting Angler of the Year were my goals. To win for my first time on Wilson Lake, which I call my home lake, makes it even better. Winning Angler of the Year once is a great ordeal, let alone winning it back to back years. I feel as if it shows that we didn't just get lucky last year by being able to back it up this season."

Finishing just behind the Buhler squad was the OutCast Bass Club duo of Brady Daniels and Cameron McClellan, both out of Louisburg, who posted 15.20 pounds for the runner-up and a place in the state championships, as well, with Kickback’s Dayne Kobriger and Logan Mothersbaugh finishing third at 13.82 pounds for their own state berth.

After this past weekend’s tournaments, 21 high school teams and 15 youth teams have officially locked in their invites to their respective Kansas BASS Nation state championship tournaments.

In the high school division, the Greater Kansas City area accounted for a large chunk of the anglers, with seven Kickback Club teams, three Olathe East teams and three Basehor-Linwood teams making the field.

Notable among the KC-area teams were the Olathe East Hawks, who won the season opener behind Tyler Kendrick and Ian Bellomo’s nearly 12-pound bag on Perry and followed it up with an encore from Wyatt Peterson and Miguel Cooper on Melvern.

And Bonner Springs’ Colton Hutchinson, who made the state field fishing for the Basehor-Linwood club alongside teammate Owen Blackburn, is another notable, as he was selected by BASS in March as Kansas’ lone member of the 2021 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team.

Still, other parts of central and eastern Kansas were represented in the mix, including a pair of clubs from the Topeka-based Capital City Club in the sibling duo of Nick and Kyle Herrman, making the leap into the high school division this year after dominating the youth ranks, as well as Brock Herrman and Brooks Linnebur.

Manhattan had a pair of teams make the state championship, as well, as the teams of Tyler Bean/Tucker Dobbs and Jordan Thiem/Owen Rausch both made the field.

To the south, Cowley County will be represented this year by Koal Meier and Timber Neal. Circle’s Trevor Cowman and Levi Nice also give the Wichita area some representation in the field, as well.

In the youth field, the demographics were a bit more spread out, as Circle and Basehor-Linwood led the way with four teams apiece, followed by Louisburg and Kickback (2). Topeka, Hanover and Legacy Christian also each had a team in the state youth field.

Louisburg’s Lucas Sheafer and Steele Smith head into the state title hunt as the odds-on favorite after a dominating 2021 regular-season campaign that came to a close with yet another win April 11 on Wilson thanks to a 13.86-pound bag — marking three of four qualifier wins this year.

But Circle’s Hunter Cowman and Will Wolf stopped their three-tournament win streak  dating back to last year’s state title victory in March with a win on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., and will look to build on that success in the state finale. Their Circle teammates, Aiden Razey and Coy Stephens, are heating up late, as well, taking second in the regular-season finale at Wilson with 12.83 pounds.

The Topeka Jr. Hawgs team of Laiken Emanuel and Avery Bowen will be the lone representative for the capital city this year in the youth division, but they have a history of scrapping with dominant teams and could make things interesting in June at Milford.



Anglers, club ... Pounds of fish

1. Fideldy/Gover, Buhler ... 18.19

2. Daniels/McClellan, OutCast ... 15.20

3. Kobriger/Mothersbaugh, Kickback ... 13.82

4. Crane/Opheim, Kickback ... 13.55

5. Carson/Welch, Kickback ... 13.24

6. Peterson/Cooper, Olathe East ... 13.00

7. Ferguson/Amundson, Olathe East ... 11.84

8. Thiem/Rausch, MHK ... 11.43

9. Neal/Meier, Cowley County ... 11.10

10. Youngblood/Long, Basehor-Linwood ... 10.77

11. N. Herrman/K. Herrman, Capital City ... 9.12

12. Bean/Dobbs, MHK ... 8.04^

13. Kendrick/Bellomo, Olathe East ... 7.74

14. Jackson/Baker, Bluestem ... 7.70

15. Ryals/Carter, Louisburg ... 7.30

16. Line/Phillips, Kickback ... 6.62

17. Wright/Comba, Basehor-Linwood ... 5.99

18. Baechle/O'Bannon, Kickback ... 5.47

19. Eidson/Matthews, Basehor-Linwood ... 5.39

20. Revel/Lujano, Buhler ... 5.33

21. Wilson/Gehl, Basehor-Linwood ... 4.70

22. Blasi/Kinsch, Olathe East ... 4.69

23. Schwartzkopf/Dillard, Buhler ... 4.66

24. Estabine/Schummuhl, Olathe East ... 3.56

25. Shepherd/Seume, Kickback ... 3.49

26. Markley/Denney, Basehor-Linwood ... 3.14

27. Harlan/Landis, Kickback ... 3.07

28. Griffith/Hynek, Hanover Knotheads ... 2.41

29. B. Wadkins/Wheeler, OutCast ... 2.32

30. B. Herrman/Linnebur, Capital City ... 1.73

^ — Big fish: 5.96 pounds


Anglers, club ... Pounds of fish

1. Sheafer/Smith, Louisburg ... 13.86

2. Razey/Stephens, Circle ... 12.83^

3. Sawin/Beikman, Hanover Knotheads ... 7.22

4. Granthaim/Hoppes, Basehor-Linwood ... 3.99

5. Haring/Gooding, Circle ... 3.76

6. Nigh/Essex, Kickback ... 3.73

7. L. Comba/Eastburn, Basehor-Linwood ... 3.63

8. C. Denney/Lawler-White, Basehor-Linwood ... 2.48

9. Emanuel/Bowen, Topeka Jr. Hawgs ... 2.20

10. Collins/Smith, Louisburg ... 1.82

^ — Big fish: 4.87 pounds


In order of Angler of the Year rankings


Angler, Club/school

Fideldy/Gover, Buhler*

Harlan/Landis, Kickback

Ferguson/Amundson, Olathe East

Bean/Dobbs, MHK

Kendrick/Bellomo, Olathe East

Baechle/O’Bannon, Kickback

N. Herrman/K. Herrman, Capital City

Kobriger/Mothersbaugh, Kickback

Daniels/McClellan, OutCast (Franklin Co.)

B. Herrman/Linnebur, Capital City

T. Cowman/Nice, Circle

Carson/Welch, Kickback

Eidson/Matthews, Basehor-Linwood

Fore/Myers, Kickback

Co. Hutchinson/Blackburn, Basehor-Linwood

Wright/Comba, Basehor-Linwood

Peterson/Cooper, Olathe East

Meier/Neal, Cowley County

Crane/Opheim, Kickback

K. Langston/Q. Langston, Kickback

Thiem/Rausch, MHK

*Angler Team of the Year


Angler, Club/school

Sheafer/Smith, Louisburg*

Wolf/H. Cowman, Circle

Denney/Lawler-White, Basehor-Linwood

Staines/Barkley, Kickback

Emanuel/Bowen, Topeka Jr. Hawgs

Sawin/Beikman, Hanover Knotheads

Collins/Smith, Louisburg

Clevenger/Fox, Circle

Haring/Gooding, Circle

Batesel/Cyd. Hutchinson, Basehor-Linwood

Wilson/Meitler, Basehor-Linwood

Loewen/Granthaim, Basehor-Linwood

Razey/Stephens, Circle

Coad/Mains, Legacy Christian

Nigh/Essex, Kickback

*Angler Team of the Year