Couple steps up ensuring high school student competes in fishing competition

BATON ROUGE — It’s one of those stories that make you love Louisiana people. The Bayou State may have some issues but loving people isn’t one of them. Dino Hunstock and his wife are a testament to that. Just days ago, high school student Travis Becnel, of Vacherie, Louisiana, was about to miss out on his fishing tournament. 

Becnel qualified for the tournament, which is a huge achievement. So when he found out he didn’t have a captain to drive the boat, he was crushed.  

“It’s the state championship. And I was like, ‘I gotta fish it,’ you know, because it really meant a lot to me. I had qualified and stuff. And I’m like, I can’t let the opportunity go by. Even if I didn’t catch the fish, it was just the chance I had of winning it,” Becnel told UWK.

Travis turned to Facebook in hopes of not having to miss out. 

“Can anyone bring me to state for Louisiana High School Bass Fishing this weekend all expenses Paid!!”

That post happened to catch the attention of a couple from Central Louisiana.

That’s where the Hunstocks stepped in.

“My wife was just like me, I called her just to get confirmation that she felt like I did. And she’s like, ‘We can’t let him miss this.’ And I said well, ‘I was hoping that’s what you would say baby’.” 

Hunstock’s wife, Kristy, was actually working in Georgia at the time.  She drove 16 hours home to be there to help a young stranger have a chance at winning his tournament. 

“We packed up Friday and went down there. We got a little cabin right beside their cabin. So we were all right there together.” Hunstock added.

The Hunstocks live in Central Louisiana. Travis lives in Vacherie, Louisiana and the tournament was in Lake Charles. Dino Hunstock is a captain of their High School fishing team. So when he got the request, he knew exactly what it meant to qualify for this tournament.

Becnel and his Mom were truly grateful.

“It was a blessing in disguise. I really didn’t think I had the chance to fish it. I was gonna tell my mom to cancel the room because it was looking slim. But it was just a big, big relief. Mr. Dino reached out to me and helped me out. He took time this weekend to take me fishing.” Becnel said.

Becnel tells UWK this was a life lesson that people are out there still doing good things for people. A lesson that meant so much to him.

“I just was doing what I felt like anybody should do really. I didn’t feel like it was a big thing. You know. I’m a captain of our fishing team. And if something happened, and I couldn’t make it, I would hope somebody would step up and help my kids.” Hunstock told UWK

He said he was very humbled and shed a few tears reading all the Facebook post and comments. Hunstock said he credits “the big man above” for bringing them together.

Travis came in 5th place in the tournament.

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