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Worth keeping, fellow fishermen Kaden Buchmann (left) and Conner Alms keep Mooresville High School’s angling program in contention for a coveted invite to the high school national championship courtesy of a top-10 finish in a stop held on Lake Norman.  

There’s now an even bigger fish well within reach of Mooresville High School’s angling program.

Buoyed by a top-10 finish fashioned in the schedule’s recently conducted stop on the current high school fishing schedule taking place close to home,teammates Kaden Buchmann and Conner Alms are rapidly closing in on earning a coveted invitation to the sport’s national championship competition.

Buchmann and Alms hooked enough keeper-size bass during the course of the tournament held on Lake Norman to finish among the top 10 in a field of nearly 100 twosomes hailing from throughout the western region of the state to boost their efforts to bag a bid to the national finals.

Officially, the duo — one of three teams from the Mooresville program in attendance — clocked in to place ninth that enhances its overall status in the updated standings.

“A top-10 is very difficult to achieve,’’ said J.J. Morse, the Mooresville entry’s head coach. “I could not be more proud of their effort. But for a lost fish, they could have placed higher.”

Morse also credited the pair’s first-hand knowledge of the local site also serving as the program’s practice facility as well as preparation prior to the event for their success.

“I will say they put in the hard work scouting the areas of the lake,” said Morse, “and searched for the best lure selection. All that hard work paid off.”

Morse also noted the program’s appreciation to the contributions provided by Lee Whitworth and Boots Beasley for helping captain the boats for the Mooresville teams.

The next scheduled competition is on track for this weekend on Lake James in the Raleigh area.

“If things continue as they have,’’ said Morse, “we may be going to the national championship.”

The national finals are scheduled to take place on Kentucky Lake in Tennessee.

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