BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — For the second consecutive year, 12 standout high school anglers have been selected as members of the exclusive Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team.
“We launched this program last year to reward the most talented young anglers in the country, and it was a tremendous success,” said Hank Weldon, B.A.S.S. youth tournament manager. “These kids are not only exceptional fishermen, but they also excel as students and in community service.”
More than 220 applications for students grades 10-12 were submitted from 36 states across the nation. Of these, 64 were chosen as Bassmaster All-State anglers. After reviewing tournament résumés, community service activities and recommendations from coaches and school officials, a blue-ribbon panel of judges further narrowed the field to the Top 12 high school anglers in the country.
The team has been invited to participate in a special Bassmaster High School All-American Bass Tournament being held in conjunction with the GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest on Lake Texoma at Durant, Okla., June 8-12. Each All-American angler will be paired with an Elite Series pro for the one-day derby to be held on a nearby fishery.
Congratulations to the following student athletes for being named to the 2016 Bassmaster High School All American Fishing Team.
Here are short biographies of the 2016 Team members. (Judges only considered tournament records for the past 12 months):
Hunter Penney, Boaz, Ala.
A senior at Susan Moore High School, Penney has earned five wins in tournaments on both high school and adult levels, including a 41 boat-field Airport Marine event, where he also took home big bass honors. Penney’s biggest career highlight was winning the 2014 Airport Marine Classic on Lay Lake against a field of 69 boats.
Nathan Cummings, Peoria, Ariz.
Cummings, a senior at Centennial High School, once struggled with severe physical and emotional limitations, according to school officials. He was unable to communicate effectively and seemed to have no academic future. Then, as a freshman, he found bass fishing. Through the sport, Cummings was able to deal with anxiety issues and overcome other challenges.
In the past 12 months, Cummings has won six tournaments, including the Let’s Talk Fishing High School Championship. He has six other Top 20 finishes, and was ranked third in the state for the 2014/2015 season. More importantly, Cummings will be graduating on time and now has superior communication skills, which he employs while volunteering at the kids casting pond at Cabela’s in Glendale, Ariz.
Morgan Fitzgerald, Salida, Colo.
Fitzgerald is a senior at Salida High School and is the reigning SAF State Champion, where he bested 29 other teams for the title. Additionally, he has won two other tournaments this year, and landed in the Top 5 four other times, including a fourth-place showing at the SAF High School regional championship. Fitzgerald’s passion for fishing is perfectly illustrated by the two-hour one-way drive he and his mother endured to attend bass club meetings. His effort paid dividends, as he earned two angler of the year trophies in the Fountain Valley Junior Bass Club. Fitzgerald will graduate with honors (3.8 GPA) and has received a merit scholarship for academics from Fort Lewis College.
Cody Stahl, Griffin, Ga.
A senior at Crosse Point Christian Academy, Stahl is a founding member of the school’s first fishing team, as well as a varsity football and baseball player and member of the student council. He has earned five wins in the past 12 months, including two state championship titles.
Stahl participated in the water lily project on West Point Lake this past summer. He has also accepted a fishing scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Trevor McKinney, Benton, Ill.
A senior on the Benton High School fishing team, McKinney has tallied an impressive five wins in the past 12 months, including the Bassmaster State qualifier, as well as a 99-team event this past May. McKinney also chalked up five other Top 10 finishes, including a second place showing at The Bass Federation State Championship. Perhaps even more impressive, this senior is his high school’s valedictorian (graduating with a 5.25 GPA) and an active member of the National Honor Society. McKinney has already earned several college scholarships, including a $10,000 Presidential scholarship and $5,000 leadership scholarship.
Dailus Richardson, Benton, Ill.
Richardson, a senior at Benton High School, has five tournament wins and eight Top 5 finishes, including a first-place title at the Illinois High School Tournament on Clinton Lake. He also earned a spot on the B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Divisional team representing the state of Illinois, finishing first-place in the high school division and fourth place overall. Richardson and McKinney were teammates in some events during the year.
Richardson started a monofilament recycling program at four area lakes in Benton and West Frankfort, Ill. He also volunteers at the annual Rend Lake Fishing Derby. He has earned three collegiate scholarships, as well as a presidential academic and fishing scholarship from McKendree University.
Mason Moore, Waynesburg, Ky.
Moore has been incredibly successful as a sophomore at Lincoln County High School. He fished a total of 13 tournaments in the past 12 months and placed in the Top 5 in seven of those events, while winning four, including a 20-boat Madison Central High School Open. Moore maintains a 3.86 GPA and is an active volunteer for the Ephraim McDowell Pediatric Therapy Center, where he is teamed with a special-needs buddy for fun activities.
Wesley Holt, Otis, La.
Holt, a senior at Oak Hill High School, helped to start his school’s first bass fishing team and has served as the club’s president the past two years. He has 10 first-place finishes to his name, including the Association of Louisiana Bass Clubs State event on Toledo Bend. Holt was also an integral part of the 2015 state bass fishing team for Oak Hill High School. Holt’s goal is to be able to fish on the professional level.
Max McQuaide, Tyngsborough, Mass.
A senior at Tyngsborough High School, McQuaide has placed in the Top 5 of nearly every tournament he has entered in the past 12 months. He won six of those events, including a 22-boat Merrimack Valley Bass Anglers Open. He is also a three-time Massachusetts state champion, landing in the runner-up position in 2015. McQuaide showed a passion for the sport at a very early age, starting his own business (Maxed Out Bait Co.) at the age of 13. McQuaide is an honor roll student, the captain of his wrestling and football teams, as well as treasurer for his class. Off the water, he volunteers for the Camp Carefree Casting Kids and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Trey Schroeder, St. Louis, Mo.
Schroeder is the current Missouri High School champion, an impressive feat for a 10th grader. Alongside this hallmark victory, he has notched another three wins in the past 12 months, along with a fifth-place finish at the 46-team Southwest Missouri High School State Championship. When not on the water, Schroeder likes to share his passion with younger anglers, volunteer with local tournament organizations and clean the shorelines of his favorite lake, Bull Shoals.
Bailey Fain, Lenoir City, Tenn.
A junior at Lenoir City High School, Fain founded the high school’s bass fishing team after setting up a meeting with the athletic director. He also approached local businesses about sponsorships and obtains guest speakers for the club’s meetings. Since then, the team has gained 32 members.
Fain has earned nine tournament wins in the past 12 months and a second-place finish at the Costa Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Martin, Ala. Within the past year, he has also earned five big bass honors.
Austin Winter, Lenoir City, Tenn.
Winter is a classmate of Fain’s at Lenoir City High School, where he is also treasurer of the Lenoir City High School Bass Club. He has a total of four first-place finishes within the past year, including three wins in the Next Generation High School Bass Series. Each of his wins was earned on a different fishery in Tennessee. He was also awarded the 2014/2015 runner-up angler of the year for his bass club.
A volunteer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Winter participates in clean-ups on various east Tennessee lakes. He also helps Madisonville Marine setup and clean boats for the East Tennessee Boat and Fishing Show, as well as volunteering for the Kids Fishing Rodeo. Winter plans to continue fishing in college, while studying wildlife, fisheries and biology.