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Posted By The Bass Hog

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — With the explosive growth of high school bass fishing tournaments, young athletes are making a name for themselves in an organized sport quite different from traditional games like football, baseball and basketball.

Now there’s a program that offers national recognition for outstanding young anglers, just as there is in each of the “stick-and-ball” sports.

B.A.S.S. — the world’s largest fishing organization — today announced creation of the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, which honors the most successful competitive bass anglers in the country.

“Our goal is to provide skilled young anglers with the rewards and recognition they deserve,” said Hank Weldon, manager of B.A.S.S.’s high school and college fishing programs. “In addition, we are offering them an opportunity to demonstrate their fishing abilities on a national stage.”

To be considered for inclusion on the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, a student must be nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students currently enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current-year grade point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible. Judges will select up to two student anglers in each state. These All-State Fishing Team members become semifinalists in the selection of the 12-member All-American Team. Criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments and involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities.

The 12 All-Americans will compete in a one-day Bassmaster All-American High School Tournament to be held in conjunction with the 2015 BASSfest event — one of nine Bassmaster Elite Series bass tournaments being held this year. Elite Series anglers will serve as “coaches” for the student anglers in the one-day tournament on Lake Barkley, Tennessee, June 6, 2015. The high school standouts will be honored before the weigh-in crowd at BASSfest, and each will be profiled in Bassmaster Magazine, read monthly by 3.2 million people.

“By focusing a national spotlight on high school students who excel at bass fishing, it’s our hope that more boys and girls will be attracted to the sport of fishing and introduced to a love of the outdoors,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “In attending some of our own Costa Bassmaster High School tournaments, I’ve been amazed at the enthusiasm, fishing ability and character our young anglers have displayed. There’s no doubt some will go on to become Bassmaster Elite Series champions.”

Akin noted that all students who compete in high school fishing events are eligible, regardless of whether they are affiliated with B.A.S.S. or another fishing organization.

Notices have been sent to youth fishing directors of the B.A.S.S. Nation and other organizations, as well as leaders of state high school fishing programs. Adults can nominate students by filling out an online form at  Nominations must be submitted before midnight April 15.

A panel of judges will review the applications and select the High School All-American Fishing Team.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

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