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UOVSAL Holds First 2017 Meeting

January 16, 2017
By Larry Claypool - OVO Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

EAST LIVERPOOL, OH - Jeff Grope of the Youngstown State University Club Fishing Team and Mike Blake, Costa FLW Series pro angler of Carrollton, Ohio were guest speakers Sunday at the first meeting of the 2107 Upper Ohio Valley Student Angler League.

The meeting was hosted by UOVSAL director Harry Emmerling and fellow coach Wayne Wells at Wayne Wells Flooring in East Liverpool, Ohio. UOVSAL junior high and high school members, their parents and coaches were present.

The UOVSAL, in its third season, will begin fishing in May with three tournaments to highlight the season.

Article Photos

Three members of the YSU Bass Fishing Club team (from left, Cody Luknis, Jared Latone and Jeff Grope) were guests during the first 2017 meeting of the Upper Ohio Valley Student Angler League on Sunday. Grope was one of the featured speakers, along with FLW Costa Series pro angler Mike Blake (right). UOVSAL director Harry Emmerling (second from right) hosted the event. Photo by Larry Claypool

Emmerling said several regional bodies of water are being considered for their events. The schedule will be confirmed later this month. Sponsors are lined up for the 2017 season.

Grope, a fifth-year senior at YSU, offered advice for the novice tournament fishermen, and one young female angler. He explained how the college tournament club team and schedule works, how to get sponsors and network with other fishermen and sponsors and simple technique ideas when fishing.

Grope, 22, is an Exercise Science major and has only fished on the YSU team for a few years. He explained that the club organization has 20 members and are not a sanctioned Penguins team. They get no university funding. As a club team they do, however, receive some student government funds. Club members pay their own FLW - College Series membership dues ($50) and are required to pay for all equipment and boats.

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The UOVSAL, in its third season, will begin fishing in May with three tournaments to highlight the season.

"The big problem is getting boats," said Grope. "We have three boats now, which are team members personal boats. We'd like to get a YSU boat. We're working on it."

Two other YSU team members, Jared Latone and Cody Luknis, accompanied Grope last night. Latone is president of the club team and Luknis is vice president.

Blake also offered fishing and safety advice to the young anglers. He's a four-time Ohio Bass Federation Ohio State Champion. "I've always had a passion for fishing. All I can tell you is to keep working at it, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it," Blake told the group. "I was jumping from job to job, always getting laid off. I had nothing stable until I started my own company, Seven Springs Fencing. Now I'm fortunate to do what I want and do something that I love."

The next meeting for UOVSAL is February 12 at Wayne Wells Flooring. For information about the league contact Emmerling at 330-383-1194 or visit the group's Facebook page.

Contact Grope via email at: or YSU's Facebook page (Youngstown State University Bass Fishing Club). Get information about Blake on his Facebook page or the Ohio Bass Federation Facebook page. The OBF website is:



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