By Gary Lloyd
BIRMINGHAM — A Briarwood Christian School junior is on the hook for quite an honor.
Tucker Smith today was selected as one of 12 high school anglers for the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team.
“We are proud to welcome an exceptional group of anglers to our 2019 class of High School All-Americans,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Each year we see competitive applications from across the country, and every one is so impressive. This class is made up of exceptional young fishermen who also excel in academics, conservation initiatives and community service.”
Smith has two first-place finishes on his resume, including a win against a 200-boat field at the Bassmaster High School National Championship held on Kentucky Lake out of Paris, Tenn. Smith and his fishing partner, Grayson Morris, are also part of the high school television show on Jimmy Houston Legends (JHL.TV) called “Winning Edges” — a show produced by high school students to present “hands-on” educational and inspirational video content.
“When Tucker was in junior high school, he suffered a traumatic ‘tib fib’ leg fracture at football practice,” said Jay Mathews, director of athletics and the bass fishing coach at Briarwood Christian School. “He was in a wheelchair for quite some time. Tucker decided to take this setback as a comeback and even fished from his wheelchair. He never complained throughout his recovery.”
Off the water, Smith has worked for King’s Home Kampfire for the King event and has been a big part of managing a private lake in Louisville, Ala., for a number of years. This year, they will be adding fish habitat in addition to the baitfish stocked in 2018.
More than 400 applications nominating students in grades 10-12 were submitted from 35 states. Of these, 62 were chosen as Bassmaster All-State anglers. After reviewing tournament resumes, community service activities and recommendations from coaches and school officials, a panel of judges representing the sportfishing industry, media and conservation groups 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 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department event, a fan-favorite festival that will be held May 2-6 on Lake Fork, Texas. Each All-American angler will be paired with an Elite Series pro for the one-day derby to be held on a nearby fishery.