BOAZ, Ala. — You could probably not keep Hunter Penney of Alabama indoors if you tried.
The 18-year-old is either on the water fishing a tournament, in the woods hunting, in the coops with the chickens or in the fields bailing hay.
That outdoorsy-ness is part of the reason he was selected for the 2016 Bassmaster High School All-American Team.
“Ever since Hunter was 3 years old, he was hunting and fishing,” said his mother, Emily Penney. “I would say by 6, he became an avid sportsman.”
And don’t just take his mom’s word for it.
“If anyone was born to be a bass fisherman, then Hunter would be that person,” wrote Andrew Holland, the assistant principal at Susan Moore High School, where Penney is a senior.
Penney has proved his mettle as a member of the Airport Marine high school team. In 2015, he won five tournaments — three on the Airport Marine trail and two with the University of Montevallo Bass Anglers Association. One year prior, he won the Airport Marine Classic — along with a fully rigged Triton boat to help him out in future tournaments.
Penney also does battle on the water against adults, with his dad right by his side. The pair compete in local tournaments almost weekly and often score a Top 5 finish.
Holland noted that Penney has other characteristics important for earning the exclusive High School All-American selection.
“Hunter has a kind heart and the ability and mental toughness to do anything he wants to do,” Holland wrote. “He is his toughest critic, and his work ethic is outstanding.
“He has compassion for his fellow students, and he is a quiet leader,” Holland continued. “He may not speak much, but his actions are such that other students seek to emulate him.”
Penney will join 11 other top young anglers at the 2016 Bassmaster High School All-American Tournament, held in conjunction with BASSfest next month in Oklahoma. Each of the high school students will fish in a boat with a Bassmaster Elite Series pro and weigh in on the Bassmaster stage.
Keep up with the High School All-American program at Bassmaster.com/AllAmerican.