High schoolers to compete on Lay Lake

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The B.A.S.S. High School program is officially kicking off Feb. 22, in conjunction with the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

Twenty high school anglers from five states will compete in the B.A.S.S. High School Classic Exhibition, the first event in an annual series. The young anglers will compete on Alabama’s Lay Lake, and the contenders will bring their catches across the stage, right before the world’s best anglers weigh in for the second day of the Bassmaster Classic.

“B.A.S.S. has had a college exhibition for several years now, and the students just love it,” said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation director. “So when B.A.S.S. unveiled the B.A.S.S. High School program last summer, it just felt natural that we have a B.A.S.S. High School Classic as well.”

The teams are each made up of two students from the same school. Each team qualified through one of three avenues — the 2013 B.A.S.S. High School Invitational, the Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School Championship or the Alagames.

“I think it is awesome that even though the qualifying events were held in Alabama, there will be five states represented: Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina and Indiana,” said Stewart. “We are excited about this event, and we hope it will draw even more attention to the B.A.S.S. High School program.”

The winning school earns the right to advance to the second annual B.A.S.S. High School Classic Exhibition in February 2015 in Greenville, S.C.

Fans can watch the 10 teams weigh in during the live stream of the Classic weigh-in on Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning about 3:30 p.m. CT on Bassmaster.com. Follow B.A.S.S. High School on Facebook for updates on the competition and on the new program throughout the year.

The competitors are as follows:

Decatur Heritage High School (Alabama): Mitchell Gowen, Brianna Tucker

Gallia Academy High School (Ohio): Jarrett Martin, Billy Powers

Tuscaloosa County High School (Alabama): Tanner Jones, Clay Teague

Wabash Valley Bassmasters (Indiana): Beau Ashcraft, Shawn Zellers

Obion County High School (Tennessee): John Garrett, Peyton Lyons

Clinton High School (Tennessee): Ryan Winchester, Justin Burris

Clinton High School (Tennessee): Jake Lee, Jacob Mashburn

Dixie High School (South Carolina): Ben Stone, Christopher Bensel

Pell City High School (Alabama): Zeke Gossett, Hayden Bartee

Plainview High School (Alabama): Austin Brown, Baily Dukes