UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Bullington, Hemsley win National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation tourney on Potomac

Bullington, Hemsley win National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation tourney on Potomac
1st Lt. Ben Bullington of Pa., and Sgt. 1st Class (RET) DC Mark Hemsley of Newburg, Md., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on the Potomac River Saturday.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - 1st Lt. Ben Bullington of Pa., and Sgt. 1st Class (RET) DC Mark Hemsley of Newburg, Md., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on the Potomac River Saturday. The team, fishing with National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., caught three bass for a total of 11 pounds, 10 ounces to barely take the title and bragging rights amongst their peers. They beat the 2nd place team by a mere 2 ounces.

"Ehrler was so upset about not making the first cut to fish in the FLW Tour event today that Mark and I had to show him where to cast," joked First Lt. Bullington. "Every time he cast where we told him to, he caught a fish. It was so good just to see him so happy to catch a fish."

"What an awesome experience," said Sgt. 1st Class Hemsley. "I learned so much. Truth be told we all caught fish, but we only weighed Ehrler's.

With the nation's capitol as a backdrop five National Guard teams were formed to compete in a tournament that paired a Walmart FLW Tour pro with two National Guard members, most of whom have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. In this tournament each team was allowed to bring in three total bass. FLW Outdoors is operating Soldier Appreciation Tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.

"It was great getting back in the boat with 1st Lt. Bullington," said National Guard pro Ehrler. "I had the opportunity to fish with him last year at the California Delta so now we have fished both East and West Coast tidal waters, it's a pretty cool thing.

"We all caught fish today which was really awesome," Ehrler continued. "I thought it was going to be a pretty relaxing day where we fished a little grabbed some lunch and if there was time go back and fish some more. But these guys are serious. We fished all day long and I'm starving!

"Seriously though, Ehrler went on. "What an honor it is for us to be able to take these service men and women out fishing. I am so privileged to wear the National Guard jersey and can't thank them enough for the service they do for this country."

A total of 10 service men and women, five teams, participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams were:

2nd: Master Sgt. Steve Proctor Jr., Gaithersburg, Md., and Tech Sgt. Ronnie Tookes Jr., Bowie, Md., with National Guard pro Jonathan Newton, Rogersville, Ala., 11-8
3rd: Master Sgt. Tom Imlay, Mechanicsville, Md., and Senior Master Sgt. Jim April, Bowie, Md., with National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 8-11
4th: Capt. Sean Combs, Jackson, N.J., and Sgt. 1st Class John Dillon, Willow Grove, Md., with Command Sgt. Maj. Michael McGhee, Blackstone, Va., 6-9
5th: Sgt. 1st Class Lisa Merrill and son Tyson Merrill both of Gainesville, Va., with National Guard pro Mark Rose, Marion, Ark., 6-5

Sgt. 1st Class Lisa Merrill of the Utah National Guard and her son, 11-year-old Tyson Merrill, both of Gainesville, Va., carefully check the scales during the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation tournament at the Potomac River.The Soldier Appreciation Tournament was held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour on the Potomac River presented by the National Guard and hosted by National Harbor.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/NationalGuardFLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world's richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player's Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.

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