BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — When Briarwood Christian School’s Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith went wire-to-wire to bring home the 2019 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, they became the first high school team to repeat as national champions. This duo is now set to add another coveted first to their resume when they become the first high school anglers to fish alongside the pros at the iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk in March.
As 53 of the world’s best anglers takeoff to compete on Day 2 of the Bassmaster Classic, they will be led onto the storied waters of Alabama’s Lake Guntersville by Morris and Smith, B.A.S.S. announced today.
Surrounded by friends and family at a pep rally celebrating their National Championship wins, Morris and Smith were surprised to learn that they not only would be fishing on Day 2 and participating in Classic festivities, but that Academy Sports + Outdoors would be providing a specially wrapped boat for their use during Classic Week.
“I'm speechless and so thankful,” said Smith. "It is amazing that we'll be the first high school team in the Classic, and I know we wouldn't be in this position without the support of our families and coaches."
As the realization that they will be participating in the Bassmaster Classic set in, the duo immediately began planning how to make the most of this rare opportunity.
"To be honest, my first thought is how I'm going to catch fish on Guntersville," said Morris. "I never thought I'd be fishing the Classic this spring, but now I want to make sure I learn from the pros while we have the chance."
After spending Saturday on the famed fishery, Morris and Smith will head 75 miles from Lake Guntersville to Birmingham, where their five-fish bag will be weighed-in to the cheers of thousands of enthusiastic fishing fans at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
“Academy Sports + Outdoors is excited to partner with B.A.S.S. and provide Grayson and Tucker the opportunity to fish alongside the pros on Lake Guntersville,” said Lawrence Lobpries, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Academy Sports + Outdoors. “We’re excited to help grow the sport by not only elevating the 2020 Bassmaster Classic through our title sponsorship, but also promoting youth participation in fishing.”
While the bright lights and big stage of the Classic will be new to the pair, Smith and Morris have already enjoyed a taste of the limelight. The duo appeared as part of a series called Winning Edges — a show produced by high school students to present educational and inspirational video content.
And fellow high school anglers can certainly gain inspiration from this talented team.
The pair enjoy a long list of accolades off the water in recognition of their dedication to conservation and community service projects. Morris and Smith have worked extensively on managing a private lake in their home state, adding fish habitats and baitfish. While Smith has volunteered for years with the Kampfire for the King events benefiting the King’s Ranch and Hannah Home, Morris has done mission work in Haiti, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Smith was one of just 12 young anglers named to the the 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team while Morris earned Honorable Mention honors.
“I am so proud of what Grayson and Tucker have accomplished as well as how they have given all of the glory and praise to God for these opportunities,” said Briarwood Fishing Team Coach Curtis Gossett.
The 2020 Bassmaster Classic will be the culmination of 50 years of top-tier tournament bass fishing, and attendees can expect a range of exciting events, coveted giveaways and celebrity appearances during the tournament, which runs March 6-8. Daily launches will take place at Civitan Park in Guntersville, with daily weigh-ins and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo held in Birmingham at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. For more information, visit bassmaster.com.