Will Travis, Elijah Gates crowned Rhea Alliance Champions

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2018 Rhea Alliance Scholarship Bass Tournament Winners. L-R - County Commissioner Jim Reed, Will Travis, Seth York, Blake Wheat, Vaughn Berger, Eli Ballard, Tanner McClain, and Eli Gates (submitted)

Freshman Will Travis and co-angler Elijah Gates took down the 5th Annual Rhea Alliance Scholarship Bass Tournament to each win $2500 in Bryan College scholarships.

The duo faced stiff competition from fellow Golden Eagle Anglers, with Seth York and Tanner McClain winning $500 scholarships with a second place finish.

In the junior division, it was Blake Wheat and Eli Ballard on top to win $250 to add to their college fund.

2018 Eagle Anglers

Travis, who stands close to 6’4″, says he missed a potential trophy bass to start the day but insists persistence paid off.

Freshman Will Travis

“It feels great!” said Will a former junior division winner before entering the varsity division this season.

“It feels awesome.  I plan to do it again in the next few years.”

When asked what he caught them on, the freshman simply stated, “Topwater.  A frog and a buzz bait.  That was it.”

Event organizer and county commissioner Jim Reed is tickled to see how the event has grown in it’s five years.

“This is our fifth year, and we’ve awarded over $40,000 in scholarship money to Rhea County students,” said Reed.

“It shows the people of Rhea County how wonderful our lake system is,” adds Reed who credits key sponsors including Volunteer Energy Co-op, Middle TN Natural Gas, Rhea Medical Center, and Suburban Manufacturing for making the event possible.

But mostly, Reed is proud to say, “Everyone who has won this tournament has gone on to further their education with the help of the scholarship money.”

And that’s the goal of Rhea Alliance.  To promote the interests of a united Rhea County.

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