DICK’S Sporting Goods, the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, has become the title sponsor of the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year award for 2019, B.A.S.S. announced this week.
There will be 18 first-time qualifiers for the Bassmaster Elite Series who are new to top-tier competitive bass fishing who are eligible to receive the DICK’S Sporting Goods Rookie of the Year award, presented to the rookie who accumulates the most points by the end of the season.
DICK’S will award a $500 prize to the points leader in the Rookie of the Year race at the conclusion of each of the nine regular-season Elite Series tournaments, including the season opener — the Bassmaster Elite at the St. Johns River — which gets under way Thursday at Palatka, Fla.
At the end of the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship tournament in September, the angler crowned Rookie of the Year will receive $10,000 from DICK’S.
The AOY Championship, to be held at a site to be announced later, also determines the 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year and 39 of the 53 berths in the 2020 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
“We’re excited that DICK’S has decided to encourage and reward some of the up-and-coming anglers on the Elite Series by sponsoring Rookie of the Year,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We have one of the strongest fields of rookie anglers ever to qualify for the Elite Series, including 12 standouts in college bass fishing. We expect the ROY race to be intense this year.
“DICK’S has been a presenting sponsor of the Bassmaster Classic, our Classic Expo and many other events and programs over the years, and we appreciate their support for this prestigious award. I know the anglers, along with our fans and members, do, too.”
Anglers earn AOY points based on their finishes at each of the 10 stops along the 2019 Elite Series circuit, including the AOY Championship. Points are allocated on the basis of one point per place, in descending order from first place, which is worth 75 points in a full-field event.
The following anglers will be vying for the 2019 DICK’S Sporting Goods Rookie of the Year title (* denotes former Bassmaster College Series angler):
> Quentin Cappo (Prairieville, La.)
> Gary Clouse (Winchester, Tenn.)
> Drew Cook* (Midway, Fla.)
> Rob Digh (Denver, N.C.)
> Greg DiPalma (Millville, N.J.)
> Dale Hightower (Mannford, Okla.)
> Harvey Horne (Bella Vista, Ark.)
> Derek Hudnall (Baton Rouge, La.)
> Mike Huff* (Corbin, Ky.)
> Lee Livesay (Longview, Texas)
> Ed Loughran III (Richmond, Va.)
> Luke Palmer (Coalgate, Okla.)
> Garrett Paquette* (Canton, Mich.)
> Randy Pierson (Oakdale, Calif.)
> Tyler Rivet* (Raceland, La.)
> Frank Talley (Temple, Texas)
> Patrick Walters* (Summerville, S.C.)
> Brad Whatley (Bivins, Texas)