BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Nominations for the 2016 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team opened today. Coaches, officials and others can nominate top high school anglers for the honor until Feb. 15.
The High School All-American team recognizes the 12 best high school anglers in the country. The program, now in its second year, is designed to reward young athletes for their performance in bass fishing tournaments, leadership in their communities and involvement in conservation efforts.
“Stick-and-ball sports each have a way to recognize exceptionally gifted athletes at the high school level,” said Dave Precht, editor-in-chief of Bassmaster Magazine. “We thought it was time to honor outstanding young bass anglers, as well.”
To be considered for inclusion on the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, a student must be nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students currently enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current-year grade point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible. Judges will select up to two student anglers in each state. These All-State Fishing Team members become semifinalists in the selection of the 12-member All-American Team. Criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments and involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities.
The 12 All-Americans will compete in a one-day Bassmaster All-American High School Tournament to be held in conjunction with the 2016 BASSfest event — one of 10 Bassmaster Elite Series bass tournaments being held this year. Elite Series anglers will serve as “coaches” for the student anglers in the one-day tournament on Lake Texoma near Durant, Okla., June 11, 2016. The high school standouts will be honored before the weigh-in crowd at BASSfest, and each will be profiled in Bassmaster Magazine, read monthly by 4.3 million people.
“Recruiting youngsters to sportfishing was one of the founding principles of B.A.S.S. back in 1968,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “The High School All-American program, like our Bassmaster High School tournament series, is proving to be a great tool for introducing young people to fishing.”
Akin noted that all students who compete in high school fishing events are eligible, regardless of whether they are affiliated with B.A.S.S. or another fishing organization.
Notices have been sent to youth fishing directors of the B.A.S.S. Nation and other organizations, as well as leaders of state high school fishing programs. Adults can nominate students by filling out an online form at www.bassmaster.com/allamerican. Nominations must be submitted before midnight, Feb. 15.
A panel of judges will review the applications and select the High School All-American Fishing Team.