Home > BASS > Careers at stake in this year’s ROY race

Careers at stake in this year’s ROY race

As I type the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series is beginning on the California Delta.  I’ll bet money that the seven rookies competing in their first Elite Series event are tweaked out of their minds right now.  Once they get their first fish in the boat, their nerves will settle a little.  Once they have their fifth fish in the boat their nerves will settle even more.

There is much about professional bass fishing I’ve learned since starting this little blog and podcast.   Chief among the new things I’ve learned is how incredibly hard it is for a new angler to successfully compete on the Elite Series trail.   Note the emphasis on the word “successfully”—as many anglers have come and gone over the last five years.

Knowing what I know now, in hindsight I think Billy McCaghren deserved much more credit than he received for winning Rookie of the Year (ROY) in 2009.  Remember that he beat out fellow “rookie” Matt Herren.  Had you asked me before the year started, I would have told you that Matt would be joining Steve Kennedy and Bobby Lane as ROY winners who were really seasoned veterans.  So Billy deserves a lot of credit for winning ROY and beating a pro who was a rookie in name only.

I will pay close attention to the 2010 ROY race.  Bassmaster posted the article “Who’s new in the Elite Series”, which profiled the seven gentlemen who will be competing in this year’s ROY race.  I do not see a veteran in rookies clothing among them.  This year’s race appears to be as level a playing field as we have ever seen with this contest.

What is at stake with the ROY race?  Directly there is the prestige of winning ROY.  More importantly, indirectly, careers are on the line.  If history repeats itself, some from this group will drop out before the end of the year.  Some will just try to hang on and make it to the end of the season.  Despite laying everything on the line, only a select few will survive to fight another day and compete again in 2011.

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