King of Kings placed 28th in an FLW tournament out of Sarasota, which was high enough to keep them qualified for the year-ending National Championship.
This is the first year Captain Ellis Phillips, formerly of Double Gobble, has competed with King of Kings. Phillips previously garnered a prestigious sponsorship from conglomerate Johnson & Johnson. Phillips brings his sponsorship with him as he joins King of Kings.
There are only eight pro teams with big sponsors and, "It’s very hard to get sponsored. I’m tickled to death that they’ll be behind King of Kings this season," he said.
Johnson & Johnson also supplied a 33-foot center console Hydrosport boat with 3 250 Yamahas. It has a Duracell wrap on it which Phillips said is much more attractive than the Tylenol wrap Double Gobble used.
King of Kings must maintain a top 50 finish in every FLW tournament, which take place throughout the United States and are broadcast on the Sports South cable network, in order to stay qualified for a shot at the national title later this year.
Phillips retired the Double Gobble name when his old crew members, who are in the home building business, did not return to the pro circuit this year due to the expenses involved in relation to the decline in the business.
Phillips and the Kings crew know each other well as all have worked in the same circuit for many years.
The other members of the team are Mike Simko (a Ft Myers Starbucks executive), Nick Van Nice (an umpire for pro baseball), and Bart and Garry Worthington. Bart is a doctor from Richmond Hill while his dad Garry is a retired Hilton Head resident.
Kings of Kings last year, minus Phillips, won the series championship for Division Four last year, and Phillips said he is excited about joining them.
Phillips said Simko is a skilled kite fisher, a skill he has "always wanted to add to my team. I think it will prove to be a successful tool."
Phillips said he is hopeful to rank higher in the national championships this year. Last year, Double Gobble placed 39th.