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 email@example.com or (254) 501-7476.
Kiddie Fishing Derby winners
1) Leila Sanchez
2) Morgan Lovejoy
1) Kaylee Rutlege, 6 inches
2) Kyla Rhodes, 6 inches
1) Kharis Casteneda
2) Kylee Grasntland
1) Denise Dachelo, 7 inches
2) Emily Martinez, 6.5 inches
1) Delaney Parish
2) Tanya Garnett
1) Alex Hamilton, 7.75 inches
2) Aubrey Ritter, 6.25 inches
1) Kenzie Hunt
2) Sarah Jarrett
1) Alyssa Rosales, 6.5 inches
2) Morgan Mitchell, 6.25 inches
1) AJ Rosales
2) Aaron Martinez
1) Payson Kepler, 11 inches
2) Dillon Aiken, 8.5 inches
1) Joshua Beaver
2) Remington Back
1) Chad Williamson, 9.5 inches
2) Will Harris, 5.75 inches
1) Hunter Vessels
2) Guillermo Barron
1) Corbin Bates, 6.75 inches
2) Caleb Myrick, 6.5 inches
1) Cole Gilmore
2) Daniel Scarborough
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