Chapman accepts Angler of the Year award at Bassmaster banquet
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Thursday, February 21, 2013
2/21/13 at 3:47 AM
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Original Print Headline: Chapman takes Angler of the Year at banquet
Brent Chapman accepted his Bassmaster Angler of the year award at the Night of Champions banquet at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Wednesday night.
However, Chapman can't wait to compete in this weekend's Classic at Grand Lake. Why? The Lake Quivira, Kan., resident feels he might have a bit of home field advantage.
"I'm really excited," Chapman said. "I have a lot of history at Grand Lake. I'm really looking forward to it."
The 40-year-old won the 2012 Angler of the Year with an awesome display of fishing. He earned enough points in eight tournaments last year to take the title.
"This means a lot. It hasn't completely sunk in," Chapman added. "It's all we strive for and it's a dream that everyone wants to win."
The only thing that could top Angler of the Year would be to win the Classic. Living in Kansas and fishing northeast Oklahoma add a bit more to Chapman's confidence.
What about Oklahoma's crazy weather? Snow one day, short-sleeves the next few days?
"I know all about that being from Kansas," Chapman said. "I knew what to expect down here."
Getting to the top of any sport has motivators and mentors along the way. That was also true for Chapman.
"Ron, my dad," said Chapman pointing to a man standing nearby. "In later years, Alton Jones (has helped). I've had a lot them."
Bassmaster notes: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino introduced its sponsored angler prior to the banquet. Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., met fans for about an hour.
Christie is a former middle school basketball coach and went from teaching to the pro fishing circuit in 2008.
Christie is glad to be close to home for the Classic, but it is a bittersweet return for family reasons.
"My (eighth grade) daughter, Ali, is playing in the ORES (Organization of Rural Elementary Schools) state basketball championship this weekend," said Christie, who is also a Cherokee citizen. "She can't be there to see me and I can't be there for her."
The 39-year-old Christie feels two kinds of pressure when fishing in a big tournament like the Classic.
"It is physically demanding and mentally demanding," Christie added. "Then you are fishing for half a million dollars and that can work on you, too."
The scheduled keynote speaker, former college basketball coach Bobby Knight, was unable to attend the banquet because of illness.
2012 Bassmaster Classic champion Chris Lane (left) and his wife, Holly, chat with Angler of the Year Brent Chapman (right) and his wife, Bobbi, Wednesday before the Night of Champions banquet at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World