CARLYLE, Ill.--The south wind put a nice fishing chop on the water of Carlyle Lake at dawn Friday.
Purple martins chirping covered the hum of a generator for the loudspeaker as the start to the second year of Illinois' very innovative bass fishing championship for high schools went off like clockwork Friday morning.
GOOD REPORTS: Taft coach Mike Mulligan was driving into the parking lot just after 5 a.m. when I pulled in. Taft, making the tournament for the second year, is a sleeper team. In part because of the experience of Mike Jarvis. Mulligan said they were catching bass, including keepers in practice.
That was a mantra echoed by other coaches and fisherman. The day looks promising.
HARLAN: The South Side school started its history making as the first all African-American team in the state tournament with coach Vince Ramirez having Darius Bridges and Jarvas Mitchell starting.
CORRECTION: Regina Dominican, not Resurrection, was the first all-girls team, to make the state finals. I had it wrong in the preview and regret the error.
CLOCKWORK: The second year takeoff for the 57-boat field went virtually flawless. Dave Gannaway started the launching at 6 a.m. with Hebron the first boat in the water. All boats were in the water by 6:51.
Morris, the first boat, followed by Taft, went past the live-well check at 6:58 and past the takeoff point between the Countryside Insurance boat and the National Guard flag boat at precisely 7 a.m.
York, the 57th boat, went past the check at 7:12.
They're due back at 3 p.m.
WEATHER OR NOT: Weather was perfect at takeoff. There is a chance of some weather moving in with a cold front this afternoon.
TOP WRAP: St. Charles North, the Chicago area's top-ranked team, sported a fancy wrap job on their boat.