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8th Annual Hilltopper Black Bag Classic

*Original posted in the College Heights Herald

http://wkuherald.com/diversions/article_d3882e08-9315-11e1-928d-0019bb30f31a.html

Trinity Gonzalez said she knows how important a child’s future is. She took a “little brother” under her wing through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program when she was an undergraduate student at WKU.

“Robert was a great kid, crazy and pretty much grossed me out all the time,” Gonzalez said. “But we always had fun, and I’m glad I was able to impact his life.”

These days, Gonzalez works at the WKU Downing University Center as a program coordinator.

Gonzalez’s involvement with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program hasn’t ended. This year, she oversaw the 8th Annual Hilltopper Black Bag Classic on Saturday.

All proceeds went toward Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Kentucky, Gonzalez said. In the past, fundraising has been given to outreach programs such as the American Red Cross and the Dream Factory. Gonzalez said this is more personal.

“I’m glad the money is going to Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Gonzalez said. “I believe it’s a good cause, and I’m happy I can still be involved.”

The event was held at Nolin Lake, and fishermen traveled from all over to cast their lines in the competitive tournament.

Last Saturday, bass boats lined the bay at dawn at Moutardier Marina in Leitchfield. Anglers arranged their poles and prepped their tackle before taking off one by one into the blue horizon.

WKU students from the Recreation Administration Program watched from the shore as the boats sped away. The students worked all semester to plan for the tournament, organizing fund raising events and recruiting fishermen.

White House, Tenn., junior Shelby Hooper said the all the hard work was paying off.

“Everything is going smoothly today,” Hooper said. “We’ve a had a good turn out, and there are twice as many boats out today.”

Fishermen returned to a weigh-in station with full live-wells that held their catch on the hour. Students met the anglers at their boat and placed their fish in black bags to conceal the size the bass.

“This is a black-bag tournament, meaning the weight of the fish is disclosed until the final weigh-in,” Hooper said.

Gonzalez said boater registration fees pay for prize winnings in the tournament. This year, a total of 39 boats turned out for the event, increasing the winners’ pool.

Scott Abner of Cincinnati caught the first fish of the hour. He said the fish were biting, and he anticipated a good day.

“Today is all about catching fish and having fun,” Abner said. “I’m happy to be here — I know it’s for a good cause.”

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