By Lauren Cabral

Killeen Daily Herald

LAMPASAS - The banks of Sulphur Creek in W.M. Brook Park were lined with children and cane poles Wednesday morning during the Kiddie Fishing Derby, part of the weeklong Spring Ho festival that kicked off Monday.

About 200 children between the ages of 5 and 12 participated, said Spring Ho Chairman Dean Tomme, who was busy tallying catches radioed to him by festival volunteers perusing the banks to record the numbers and sizes of fish reeled in.

"To keep it fair, we provided everyone with cane poles," he said, adding prizes would be given out to those who caught the most fish and the biggest fish in each age category. Winners received gift cards from Nocked & Loaded in Lampasas, which co-sponsored the event with Toyota of Killeen.

Tomme, a Lampasas native, said the derby had been a part of Spring Ho since he could remember.

"It's a good way to showcase our creek and our community, and it's a lot of fun," he said. "I wish we'd have more kids from outside the Lampasas area participate."

Jersey Menchaca, 4, was one out-of-town fisher at the derby. She was attending with her mother, Stephanie, as well as her brothers, cousins, aunts and grandmother.

"I had a day off," Stephanie said. She and her children live in Liberty Hill, but her mother and sister live in Lampasas.

"We came to let them enjoy Spring Ho," she said.

Tamara and her son, Jake, 7, made the trip from Austin to fish with cousins Peyten, 8, and Pacey, 4.

"I was born and raised here," Tamara Mullikin said. "We just like to come back and do all the fun activities and visit family, just to get away from the big city."

Jake and Peyten said they hadn't caught fish, but they'd fished "lots of times" and enjoyed the sport.

Jarred Dugger, 6, had better luck. He said he'd caught three, but his goal was 1,000.

"This is fish bait for us," said his father, James, holding up one of his son's catches. He said his son, Joshua, 7, also caught a fish, and the family participated in the derby every year.

"It gets everyone together and makes them feel good," he said.

"There's nothing like seeing these little guys catch a fish."

Contact Lauren Cabral at or (254) 501-7476.

Kiddie Fishing Derby winners


Ages 5-6

Most Fish

1) Leila Sanchez

2) Morgan Lovejoy

Longest Fish

1) Kaylee Rutlege, 6 inches

2) Kyla Rhodes, 6 inches

Ages 7-8

Most Fish

1) Kharis Casteneda

2) Kylee Grasntland

Longest Fish

1) Denise Dachelo, 7 inches

2) Emily Martinez, 6.5 inches

Ages 9-10

Most fish

1) Delaney Parish

2) Tanya Garnett

Longest Fish

1) Alex Hamilton, 7.75 inches

2) Aubrey Ritter, 6.25 inches

Ages 11-12

Most Fish

1) Kenzie Hunt

2) Sarah Jarrett

Longest Fish

1) Alyssa Rosales, 6.5 inches

2) Morgan Mitchell, 6.25 inches


Ages 5-6

Most Fish

1) AJ Rosales

2) Aaron Martinez

Longest Fish

1) Payson Kepler, 11 inches

2) Dillon Aiken, 8.5 inches

Ages 7-8

Most Fish

1) Joshua Beaver

2) Remington Back

Longest Fish

1) Chad Williamson, 9.5 inches

2) Will Harris, 5.75 inches

Ages 9-10

Most Fish

1) Hunter Vessels

2) Guillermo Barron

Longest Fish

1) Corbin Bates, 6.75 inches

2) Caleb Myrick, 6.5 inches

Ages 11-12

Most Fish

1) Cole Gilmore

2) Daniel Scarborough

Longest Fish

1) Alex Teagarden, 14 inches

2) Mateao Maldenado, 6.5 inches

Country Showdown talent contest

First place: Allison Hendrick, 11, of Lometa

Second place: Megan Blair, 19, of Lampasas

Third place: Michael Poole and Cord Jackson, both 20, of Copperas Cove and Lampasas

Little Miss Spring Ho pageant

Winner: Allison Martin

First runner up: Hadley Howard

Second runner up: Charliann Slaughter

Third runner up: Victoria Olivarez

Miss Spring Ho pageant

Winner: Paige Hensley

First runner up: Kelsey Moncus

Second runner up: Kady Crow

Third runner up: Kenda Wittenburg

- From staff reports

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