Friday, August 16, 2013

Shared Joy for Co-Angler Title

I've never gotten teary eyed because an angler I didn't know and knew almost nothing about won a fishing tournament. Well, I hadn't. Until about an hour ago. But never before had I seen an angler vanish from the stage upon being announced the winner and run at full stride to embrace his mom and then return to the stage with her scurrying beside him. Never have I seen such unified delight about anyone winning any tournament -- such outwardly visible pride and joy in a mom and thankfulness in a son.

Theo Corcoran, 23, had trouble coming up with words to convey just how he felt, but in truth, he didn't need words. It was all over his face, which he wiped tears from with a weigh-in hand towel, and was equally on the face of his mom, who he said began taking him fishing when he was a little boy. The words that did come out -- youthful, unfiltered and drenched with delight -- pasted a big grin onto the face of virtually every spectator in the Century Link Center, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one in the crowd wiping a few tears.

Corcoran, who fished today with Mark Daniels, Jr., won the co-angler division of the Forrest Wood Cup by more than 7 pounds with a two-day weight of 26 pounds, 10 ounces and earned $50,000. He led the pack with 14-14 yesterday, and backed it today with 11-13, which was the best co-angler weight of today.

Today's action began with a 4-pound frog fish and then a bullet in the head for Corcoran. OK, it was a actually a 1-ounce bullet-shaped weight, but it came at high speed when Daniels swung and missed on a fish, and it immediately drew blood. When told that he was bleeding, Corcoran asked for a towel and some Superglue, did a little self-surgery and went back to fishing.

Despite youthful enthusiasm and understandable confidence after qualifying for and then winning the Forrest Wood Cup Co-Angler title, Corcoran knows he has an enormous amount to learn. Asked on stage if he'd be fishing on the pro side next year, he said he probably needed at least one more year as a co-angler. Although he feels very confident flipping shallow stuff he can look at and catching fish from the back of the boat, he admitted still having a lot to learn about structure, electronics and much more.

Like Theo Corcoran on stage, I feel somewhat at a loss for the right words to tell the story of his win and sort of wish everyone could have seen it for themselves.

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