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LEHEW LEADS NATIONAL GUARD JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Seventy anglers representing 35 states fishing for a share of $42,000 in scholarships and grants

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (August 4, 2007) ­ Shane Lehew, 18, of Charlotte, N.C., and Dylan Peppers, 13, of Good Hope, Ga., are leading the National Guard Junior World Championship after one day of competition on Lake Hamilton. Held in conjunction with the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup on nearby Lake Ouachita, the National Guard Junior World Championship will award $42,000 in scholarships and youth-program grants to the top six competitors in the 11 to 14 age bracket and top six competitors in the 15 to 18 age bracket.

Lehew, from The Bass Federation's Southern division, is leading the 15 to 18 age group with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces. He fished Saturday with Team A&W pro Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind.

"I started off the day really slow," Lehew said. "I caught five or six little fish early in the morning using topwater baits. Later in the day we fished shallow water using a shaky-head jig around docks and brush piles.

"Fishing with Shad was great. All of the pro anglers are great, and I am so happy they took the time to do this. I wish they had this around when I was younger. It was a great experience."

The top six anglers in the 15 to 18 age group who will continue competition Sunday are Joseph Morse of Woodbury Heights, N.J. (two fish, 4-11); Sterling Pfundheller of Phoenix, Ariz. (two fish, 4-8); Cody Harris of Grand Blanc, Mich. (one fish, 3-6); Tyler Towers of Star City, Ark. (three fish, 2-12) and Nick Sampson of Gorham, Maine (two fish, 2-0).

Peppers, who also represents the TBF's Southern division, is leading the 11 to 14 age bracket with two bass weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces. He fished Saturday with Eagle Claw pro Chris Elliott of Beaufort, N.C.

"We started off the day in shallow water near grass beds and then we went to deep water," Peppers said. "I caught three keepers around 8 a.m. Fishing was great with Chris. He let us go where we wanted to go and gave us great tips."

The top six anglers in the 11 to 14 age group are Daniel Ruedi of Champaign, Ill. (one fish, 3-11); Zach Whitten of Oceana, W.Va. (two fish, 2-12); Connor Mendenhall of Omaha, Neb. (one fish, 1-8); Ryan Taylor of Canyon Lake, Ca. (one fish, 0-14); and Robert Ramasci of Wakefield, Ma. (one fish, 0-6).

The junior anglers are paired with an FLW Tour pro for competition on Lake Hamilton. There are three anglers to a boat: a junior angler from each age group plus an FLW Tour pro who assists the junior anglers but does not fish. The two junior anglers share control of the boat for the day but compete in their respective age groups. Weights will be zeroed Sunday as the top six anglers in the 11 to 14 age bracket and the top six anglers in the 15 to 18 age bracket continue competition, with the winners determined by the heaviest catch from that day.

Takeoff will be held at Fish Hatchery Ramp located at 350 Fish Hatchery Road in Hot Springs beginning at 6:30 Sunday morning and the weigh-in is 3:30 p.m. on the main Forrest Wood Cup stage in Summit Arena located at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs.

Designed to highlight the best up-and-coming bass fishing talent in the country, the National Guard Junior World Championship also provides national recognition for the positive activities pursued by America's youth.

First-place finishers in each age bracket will receive a $5,000 scholarship in addition to a sponsor merchandise package. Second-place finishers will receive $3,000 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Third-place finishers will receive $2,500 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Fourth-place finishers will receive $2,000 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Fifth-place finishers will receive $1,500 scholarships plus sponsor packages. Sixth-place finishers will receive $1,000 scholarships plus sponsor packages.

Additionally, FLW Outdoors, on behalf of the National Guard, will award $1,000 to each of the state TBF chapters represented by the six finalists in each age bracket. This money, totaling $12,000, will benefit each chapter's youth program.

For more information about TBF Junior Angler programs, contact your state's TBF chapter. A list of chapters can be found at www.bassfederation.com. For more information about FLW Outdoors, the Forrest Wood Cup and the National Guard Junior World Championship, visit www.flwoutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. A complete list of youth anglers competing in the Junior World Championship is posted at www.flwoutdoors.com.

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