According to Joe Smith, who is assisting tournament director Kathy Pittman with the new category, three of the six registrants are from the Dietrichson family in Dumfries.
Doug and Jacque Dietrichson have four children: Jessica (14), Eric (12), Gabe (10) and Susannah (9). Jessica, Eric and Gabe have autism.
"Doug and Jacque keep the kids active as much as possible in a variety of activities like running clubs, Challenger baseball, local swim teams, youth orchestra, snow skiing and Awanas Bible Club," said Smith.
"Jessica loves art, writing stories and music. Eric is an aspiring moviemaker and loves to tinker with video cameras. Gabe loves video games and swimming and skiing," he added. "The children have not done extensive fishing but are looking forward to this awesome experience."
The Travis Smith Special Angler Award is named after Smith's son, who is on the autism spectrum with speech and articulation challenges. Travis won the youth angler award in last year's tournament with a 2.2-pound mackerel and an incredible fish story to go along with it. Following the tournament, the Smith family proposed adding the new category for anglers with special needs. There is no age limit for the Special Angler category.
Through corporate and private sponsorships, the entire Dietricshson family will be fishing aboard Liquid Assets II with Captain Billy Pipkin and Special Angler Ambassador Travis Smith.
Registrations are still being accepted for the Special Angler category along with general entries. The fee per boat is $175.
The tournament, presented for the first time by Boston Whaler and sponsored by Chesapeake Boat Basin, will include a captain's meeting on August 23 with fishing on August 24. Weigh-in is by 4 p.m. at the Boat Basin. An awards ceremony will follow.
A $500 cash prize is offered by Boston Whaler and the Boat Basin if the winning fish is caught in a Boston Whaler.
As in the past, the tournament will include prize money for first through fifth places along with a $25,000 prize sponsored by Tri-Star Supermarket for a state record-breaking fish. The tournament will continue to award prizes for female and youth anglers along with the special angler category. The female, youth and special angler awards are based on the weight of a single fish.
To register, contact Pittman at 804-724-9279 or log on to the Lancaster County Little League website at youthcluboflancastercounty.org.