2016 High School All-American: Nathan Cummings

PEORIA, Ariz. — Nathan Cummings is a success story, and bass fishing gets part of the credit.

“When Nathan arrived at Centennial High School, he was lost,” said Brett Palmer, the assistant principal of the high school where Cummings graduated this month.

“Nathan was ready and willing to give up on life until he found fishing,” Palmer added. “He used fishing to channel his anxiety.”

Cummings, 18, turned his learning disability and severe limitations around, and now the recent high school graduate is a member of the exclusive 2016 Bassmaster High School All-American team.

The honor is well deserved, considering that Cummings was a six-time tournament champion in the past year, and in the tournaments he didn’t win, he placed second.

Cummings wants to spread his love of fishing to the next generation. As part of that commitment, he volunteered his time at the kids’ casting pond at the Cabela’s store in Glendale, Ariz. The young angler also donates time to his community, putting in 60 hours at the Vineyard Church Food bank.

“Nathan’s ongoing energy and dedication were witnessed throughout his academics and his extracurricular activities in fishing,” wrote Becky Cothren, his English teacher and his case manager for his disability. “Nathan never allowed his challenges to interfere with his success in school, community, family and in his love of fishing.”

Cummings, who is a member of the Arizona High School Nation, is hoping to earn a fishing scholarship to college and to one day compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series.