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Glenbard North freshman girls head to state: They’ll be 1 of 2 girl teams at IHSA bass fishing finals

Glenbard North’s all-freshman girls team is headed to the state finals in IHSA’s bass fishing, where they will be joined by the Goreville’s sisters team.

Glenbard North’s all freshman, all-girl team of Kayla Summins (left), Mikaela Quinn and Pheona Phillips hold their second-place catch at the Busse Woods Reservoir (Main Pool) sectional, which earned them a trip to the state finals in IHSA bass fishing. Provided photo
Glenbard North’s all freshman, all-girl team of Kayla Summins (left), Mikaela Quinn and Pheona Phillips hold their second-place catch at the Busse Woods Reservoir (Main Pool) sectional, which earned them a trip to the state finals in IHSA bass fishing.
Provided

Kayla Summins, Mikaela Quinn and Pheona Phillips bring girl power to the Illinois High School Association’s state finals for bass fishing.

They won’t be the only ones.

‘‘It would be really cool if they went down there and put a limit together and made some noise as an all-girl freshman team,’’ Glenbard North coach Eric Stark said.

The Panthers reached the finals by taking second place at the Busse Woods Reservoir (Main Pool) Sectional on Thursday with five largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces.

‘‘It felt really good, and an all-freshmen team, too,’’ Quinn said. ‘‘So we could compete against the boys.’’

Each boat in IHSA events may weigh its five heaviest black bass (largemouth, smallmouth or spotted), 12 inches or longer.

Quinn learned fishing when she was younger, primarily at the Minnesota cabin of her grandfather Vito San Filippo.

The Panthers fit the history of the IHSA’s coed finals for bass fishing. The finals are scheduled May 21-22 at Carlyle Lake.

In the first year of the finals in 2009, Regina Dominican sent the first all-female team of Christine Brown and Natalie Hogan.

Nichole Mara, as a senior at Hinsdale Central, weighed the then-heaviest bass caught by a female during the IHSA finals in May of 2012. As an assistant coach/boat driver, she helped Hinsdale South reach the state finals this year. Credit: Dale Bowman
Nichole Mara, as a senior at Hinsdale Central, weighed the then-heaviest bass caught by a female during the IHSA finals in May of 2012. As an assistant coach/boat driver, she helped Hinsdale South reach the state finals this year.
Dale Bowman

Nichole Mara set the record for the then-largest bass caught by a girl at the finals — a 5-pound, 9-ounce largemouth — as a senior at Hinsdale Central in 2012.

Mara became a social-media influencer in fishing. She assists Jim Bondi with coaching and boat-driving for Hinsdale South, which reached the finals with a third-place finish at the Busse South Sectional.

Goreville’s Kaeden Albright and brother Landon finished second in 2019 at the finals. Now a senior, Kaeden and younger sister Reice won the Lake of Egypt Sectional with their brother driving. They go to state as an all-girl team and a team to watch.

Goreville’s Landon Albright and his sister Kaeden took second at the IHSA state finals for bass fishing in 2019. Kaeden, now a senior, and her sister Reice, who won the Lake of Egypt sectional, will be the other all-girl team at the state finals this year. Credit: Dale Bowman
Goreville’s Landon Albright and his sister Kaeden took second at the IHSA state finals for bass fishing in 2019. Kaeden, now a senior, and her sister Reice, who won the Lake of Egypt sectional, will be the other all-girl team at the state finals this year.
Dale Bowman

Glenbard North should be a team to watch, too.

‘‘I knew they would be able to fish when it was time, and they came out and stuck them,’’ Stark said Thursday of Quinn and Summins, both of whom he knew.

Quinn played sports with his daughter. Summins came to his summer fishing camps.

‘‘I didn’t think we would catch much,’’ said Quinn, who caught two of their keepers in the sectional.

She primarily was casting shorelines with a wacky-rigged Senko.

Phillips was the wild card.

‘‘Mr. Burgoni, he was the one who found her,’’ Stark said. ‘‘She is a full remote student, and she hasn’t been to school much. Everything is off-kilter with COVID.’’

Mike Burgoni was the driver for the all-girls boat. Each boat in IHSA tournaments has an adult driver and two students fishing. Each school may enter two boats.

Stark felt good when Phillips came in handling a baitcaster reel, which is difficult for beginners.

‘‘I just got word two weeks ago she wanted to fish,’’ Stark said. ‘‘She came in as a sub, stuck a 15-incher and about 15 minutes later caught a 16-incher on a square-bill crankbait.’’

Quinn summed up the last 14 months, as well as the sectional, when she said: ‘‘It was just fun to get out and be with people. Just something fun to do.’’

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