MR SPORTS: Madison anglers have experience of a lifetime in FLW Tour event

By Bob Labbe
By Bob Labbe

The top seven angers caught their 20 bass limit over the four days of fishing Lake Guntersville in the recent FLW Tour event. Mark Rose of Arkansas took first place with his 20 fish weighing in at 79-pounds, 11-ounces and winning $125,000.

The co-angler division was won by Jeff Ragsdale of Gardendale, Ala. as he caught nine bass in his two days of competition for a total of 30-6. He pocketed $20-thousand for his effort. In the co-angler division, the “amateurs” are in a boat with a FLW Tour professional for two days. Two of the anglers in the division were from Madison, Nathan Hand and Lee Means, and were showcased in an article here in the Madison Weekly News two weeks ago. Neither Hand nor Means finished among the money winning top 10, but certainly had the experience of a lifetime.

The professional anglers compete throughout the 2017 season vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing scheduled for August in South Carolina.

Bass fishing is a big business and can be a very lucrative sport if you catch the ones that don’t get away.

Change In Championship Boxing

Undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder of Tuscaloosa will put his WBC title on the line Feb. 25 in Birmingham in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions that can be seen on Channel 54. I recently wrote about the fight, but there has been a change in Wilder’s opponent.

The change comes after Wilder’s original foe, Andrzej Wawrzyk, tested positive for a banned substance, thus, had to be scratched from the bout. Wilder’s opponent now will be undefeated contender Gerald Washington, a 34-year old U.S. Navy veteran who also played tight end and defensive end at Southern California. Washington is 18-0 with 12 knockouts. He stand 6-foot-6. He made the transition to boxing after spending time with both the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills.

Wilder, who goes by the nickname The Bronze Bomber, is 37-0 with all but one of his fights ending in a knockout.

The bout, along with several undercard fights, will be held at The Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham with coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the event are available through Ticketmaster and by visiting

Huntsville Havoc

The hockey dudes are back in town for one match this weekend. The Havoc will hit the ice of the VBC on Sunday, 6:00 p.m. with the fun of Hockey Night where hot dogs, sodas and beer are all $2 each.

The Havoc have also announced a special event for their home match on March 11. Alabama star defensive end Jonathan Allen will be at the match for a special private meet and greet with the fans.

He will be available for the first 400 people who purchase an exclusive package through the Havoc’s website for $50. The package includes a ticket, food from the VBC concession stand and a signed photograph of Allen, who is projected to be a first-round choice in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Bits & Pieces

The State Wrestling Tournament is this weekend at the VBC in Huntsville. The three-day event is one of the highlights of the high school athletic season with the elite wrestlers from all of Alabama coming together in a fast and furious event showcasing some of the top athletes in all of high school sports. I was once a wrestler and was on a state championship team and know and understand what these athletes will go through this weekend. It can be a brutal effort both physically and mentally.

The 2017 NASCAR season gets underway in less than two weeks with the running of America’s Race the Daytona 500. The king event of NASCAR will be held Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on FOX, channel 54.

Talladega’s two races this year will be held May 7 and October 15.