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Furano Captures SFL Title

August 1, 2018
By Larry Claypool - OVO Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Well, she did it. Boardman High School freshman Kennedy Furano caught one fish in the final event of the Student Fishing League to capture the 2018 Angler of the Year award. That 1.94-pound smallmouth bass was enough for the win. Furano entered the third bass fishing tournament series with a healthy 24-point lead. She finished with a 12-point win over runner-up Ryder Saltsman, of Beaver Local, who finished with 75 points.

The final Tri-State Championship event was held on the Ohio River, on Father's Day, out of the Kennedy Campground and Marina docks in Newell, WV.

SFL tournament director Harry Emmerling said it would have been tough for another angler to unseed the young angler. "She really just needed to catch one fish for the win," said Emmerling.

Article Photos

Kennedy Furano, of Boardman High School, won the 2018 Student Fishing League Angler of the Year award last month after the league’s final event, the Tri-State Championship. The event was held on the Ohio River and hosted by the Kennedy Campground and Marina.

Furano is the second female to capture SFL Angler of the Year honors in the league's four-year history. Stephanie Emmerling, of East Liverpool High School, won the title four years ago during the inaugural season. The 2016 and 2017 top honor went to Hopewell High School's Curt Jena. Furano was the only female competing in the high school division this season.

The other SFL High School Division top scorers for the 2018 season were: Ryder Saltsman, 75; Payne Allen, 69; Dylan Czech, 66; Clayton Gourley, 65; Cody Smith, 54; Konner Kerr, 49; Dan Gentile, 43; Curt Jena, 42; Gavin Gamble, 42; and Cole Abbott, 39.

Furano caught her winning fish on the Ohio River with her favorite Texas-rig Senko worm. It was, however, Furano's first time fishing on the local river.

Ryder Saltsman, of Beaver Local, won the individual honors during the Ohio River event with a 3.73-pound bag. Clayton Gourley, also of Beaver Local, was second as his fish tipped the scales at 2.86-pounds. Jena was third with a 2.26-pounds sack. Saltsman also won the Big Bass award with a 2.21 fish.

In the overall SFL Junior High Division, Beaver Local's Kami Beaver took top honors for the season with 58 points. She too was the only female in the Junior High Division. Mark Emmerling of Beaver Local was the runner-up (54 points) and Seth Hildebrand was third with 54 points. Aidan Pilarcik was a close fourth with 53 points.

Mark Emmerling won the Ohio River event with three fish and 3.71-pounds. Tommy Shasteen of East Palestine was the runner-up with 2.73-pounds of fish. Aidan Pilarcik of Beaver Local finished third with 2.22-pounds.



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