Carhartt presenting sponsor of inaugural Bassmaster High School Championship

Craig Lamb
Jacob Mashburn (middle) and Jake Lee of Clinton County High School in Clinton, Tenn., stand with their coach Joe Lee after winning the Bassmaster High School Open on Douglas Lake, June 20-21. Mashburn and Lee plan to compete together at the Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Carhartt.

Carhartt, America’s premium work wear brand since 1889, and a longtime B.A.S.S. partner, has extended its reach to the new High School B.A.S.S. Nation program by becoming the Presenting Sponsor of the Bassmaster High School Championship, July 16-19.

“The B.A.S.S. High School program is the fastest-growing part of B.A.S.S. competition right now,” said Hank Weldon, national youth director at B.A.S.S. “We’re pleased with the support Carhartt has provided in helping shape the future of our sport.”

Carhartt is the Official Apparel Sponsor and Official Supporting Sponsor of the annual Bassmaster Classic and the Bassmaster Elite Series and the three-division Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate. In addition, Carhartt is the title sponsor of the Bassmaster College Series and sponsor of the Carhartt Big Bass award, offering anglers a shot at earning bonus money if they weigh in the biggest bass of the tournament.

“Carhartt is honored to support the young anglers who are competing in the B.A.S.S. High School program,” said Tim Humes, senior brand manager at Carhartt. “These young competitors will not only help shape the future of this great sport, but also will prove why this new series is so important for the growth of competitive bass fishing.”

The inaugural Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Carhartt will bring 58 teams to Paris, Tenn., where 116 anglers will have the chance to fish Kentucky Lake and Carroll County 1,000-acre Recreational Lake in hopes of earning a national championship title.

“We’re very excited to have B.A.S.S. here,” said Garry Mason, head coach of Bethel University’s bass fishing team and the executive director of Northwest Tennessee Tourism. “We’re going to see some really nice fish next week, and all of our high school anglers are looking forward to it.”

Competition begins Wednesday, July 16, with anglers taking off from Paris Landing State Park at 5:30 a.m. Thursday, the second competition day, anglers will also launch from Paris Landing State Park. On Friday and Saturday, anglers will launch out of the Carroll County Lake Launch.

The full field of anglers will fish Wednesday and Thursday, after which the field will be cut in half. Full-field weigh-ins will be held at Paris Landing State Park at 1:45 p.m. The Top 29 teams will fish Friday, and the remaining Top 10 teams will compete the final day. Weigh-ins Friday and Saturday will be held at Bethel University.

In addition to a championship title, competitors in the High School B.A.S.S. Nation program are also eligible for more than $93,500 in scholarship awards in 2014. A total of $27,250 was awarded at the Bassmaster High School Open held on Douglas Lake in June, and even more is being offered at the championship.

“Our program offers more funds toward education than any other high school bass fishing program in the country,” Weldon said. “We’re excited to be able to offer academic opportunity to young anglers.”

Competitors in the Bassmaster High School Championship are eligible to win $66,250 in scholarship funds. B.A.S.S. is contributing $17,000 and sponsors are providing $9,250, while the remaining $40,000 will be awarded by Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn.

Bethel will offer scholarships to the highest-finishing junior or senior team at the championship. Each of the two anglers will receive $5,000 per year if they enroll at Bethel.

“Bethel is the first college in America to award scholarships for collegiate bass fishing,” Mason said. “We’re excited to offer a chance for high school anglers to attend Bethel University and be a part of our bass fishing program.”

Five additional scholarships will be awarded at the championship. Yamaha will present a $1,000 scholarship to the second-place finisher, and Triton will provide a $1,000 scholarship to the third-place finisher. Carhartt offers a $1,250 scholarship to the angler weighing in the Carhartt Big Bass of the tournament. The Mudhole Heavyweight Award of $500 each will be presented to the team that brings in the heaviest bag. Costa is also offering a Costa Sunglasses Bright Future Award of $5,000 based on GPA, extracurricular activities and a personal essay.

“Our goal is to help prepare young anglers for their careers, whether they choose to be pro fishermen or leaders in another field,” Weldon continued. “The unmatched competition and superior education dollars we’re offering are bound to get them off on the right foot.”

To keep up with the High School B.A.S.S. Nation program, visit Bassmaster.com/high-school and follow www.facebook.com/basshighschool.

Click here (http://www.bassmaster.com/high-school-registration) to learn how to set up a high school team.

The local hosts for the event are Paris-Henry County, Carroll County, Northwest Tennessee Tourism and Bethel University.

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