By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – Mother Nature did her part and the musicians certainly did theirs as the sweet sounds of fiddle music could be heard throughout Davy Crockett Memorial Park on a gorgeous Saturday morning and afternoon.

The 80th Annual World Championship Fiddlers Festival was held on Oct. 22 and the event attracted over 50 fiddlers and accompanists from as far away as California and Idaho. In addition, included amongst the musicians were eight former World Champion fiddlers!

The participantsthe-littlest-fiddler ranged in age from over 60 all the way down to six years of age and were divided into four divisions. The divisions were: the Senior Division, for contestants 60 years of age and above; the Youth Division for fiddlers up to the age of 18; the World Championship Division; and the Accompanist Division.

In the Senior Division, Brad Riley from Waller took home the first place trophy along with $300. Second place and a check for $250 went to Jesse Mears of Alvarado. Mabank’s Cliff McCall took home third place honors along with $200 and Sherry Wortham from Elkhart finished in fourth place and earned $150.

The Youth Division saw 17 competitors take the stage during the late morning / early afternoon. There were 10 possible places plus participation recognition. The competitors were:

  • 1st Place/$300 – Ridge Roberts, Age 13, Granbury, TX
  • 2nd Place/$250 – Shira Ellisman, Age 16, Encinitas, CA
  • 3rd Place/$200 – Sawyer Porter, Age 16, Middleton, ID
  • 4th Place/$150 – Elliott Dean, Age 15, Buda, TX
  • 5th Place/$100 – Leah Sawyer, Age 15, Weatherford, TX
  • 6th Place/$75 – Noelle Nugent, Age 17, Burleson, TX
  • 7th Place/$50 – Madison Dietrich, Age 16, Casa Grande, AZ
  • 8th Place/$25 – Elijah Baker, Age 12, Birch Tree, MO
  • 9th Place/$25 – David Sawyer, Age 13, Weatherford, TX
  • 10th Place/$25 – Christiana Nugent, Age 13, Burleson, TX

11th – 17th places (listed alphabetically) received participation recognition and $10 each. The competitors were:

  • Carina Baker, Age 15, Birch Tree, MO
  • Aspen Dietrich, Age 5, Casa Grande, AZ
  • Brie Dietrich, Age 6, Casa Grande, AZ
  • Ranelle Dietrich, Age 8, Casa Grande, AZ
  • Jonathan Dow, Age 15, Sinton, TX
  • Rylan Marak, Age 10, Hallettsville, TX
  • Linda Masters, Age 10, Huntsville, TX

fiddlers-trophyIn the Accompanist Division, there were seven total competitors and five possible places. They were:

  • 1st Place/$300 – Ray Franklin
  • 2nd Place/$250 – Anthony Mature
  • 3rd Place/$200 – Hyatt Hopkins
  • 4th Place/$150 – Steve Williams
  • 5th Place/$100 – Simon Stipp

The World Championship Division (Open) also saw 17 competitors take the stage. They were:

  • 1st Place/$1,000 – Matthew Hartz, Boise, ID
  • 2nd Place/$900 – Wes Westmoreland, Temple, TX
  • 3rd Place/$800 – Carl Hopkins, Porter, TX
  • 4th Place/$700 – Katrina Nicolayeff, Meridian, ID
  • 5th Place/$600 – Trustin Baker, Birch Tree, MO
  • 6th Place/$500 – Katie Crawford, Burleson, TX
  • 7th Place/$400 – Jason Andrew, Whitewright, TX
  • 8th Place/$300 – Karissa Nugent, Burleson, TX
  • 9th Place/$200 – Devon McCauley, Brock, TX
  • 10th Place/$150 – Michael Thompson, Roce, OK

11th – 17th places (listed alphabetically) received participation recognition and $100 each. The competitors were:

  • Ed Carnes, Franklin, TX
  • Faith Nugent, Burleson, TX
  • Luke Masters, Huntsville, TX
  • Alfred Mouledous III, Dallas, TX
  • Eddie Davis, Cuero, TX
  • Hollie Williams, Kress, TX
  • Philip Pryor, New Waverly, TX

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.