Two Alabamians named to Bassmaster high school All-American team
Two up-and-coming anglers from Alabama have been selected as 2021 members of the prestigious Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, it was announced this week.
The 12-member team is presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors and selected by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from the sportfishing industry, media and conservation groups.
“For seven years, the Bassmaster High School All-American program has identified and honored some of the most accomplished student athletes in the country,” stated Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We’ve seen past members go on to decorated college fishing careers and even compete in the iconic Bassmaster Classic, and know that this group of 12 outstanding All-Americans is equally as talented. We appreciate Academy Sports + Outdoors for partnering with B.A.S.S. to recognize these athletes’ fishing skills and commitment to academics, conservation and community service.”
Tournament résumés, conservation efforts, community service activities and recommendations from school officials and coaches reportedly go into the final selection process.
“Congratulations to our newest Bassmaster High School All-Americans,” said Hank Weldon, senior manager of the B.A.S.S. high school program. “Our program is exclusive to only the most well-rounded and driven high school anglers, and each of these 12 young anglers and their parents should be proud of this accomplishment. I am looking forward to honoring their achievements at the Neely Henry Elite in May.”
The 2021 All-American team has been invited to participate in an exclusive Bassmaster High School All-American Tournament, which will be held in conjunction with the 2021 Bassmaster Elite at Neely Henry Lake, scheduled to take place May 6-9 in Gadsden. Each All-American angler will be paired with an Elite Series pro for the one-day derby to be held on a nearby fishery.
The two Alabamians selected to this year’s high school team are Alexis Grandstaff and Hayden Marbut.
Grandstaff, a senior at Headland High School, amassed an impressive two wins in the 2020 tournament season as well as 10 top five finishes and 10 top 20 finishes. She is a two-time Bassmaster High School National Championship Qualifier (2019 and 2021) as well as the recipient of two Big Fish Awards at Lake Wedowee and Lake Eufaula.
“She has proven herself a fierce competitor in the field of high school bass fishing,” commented Shannon V. Smith, Headland’s bass team head coach. “She has continuously excelled in her academics and leadership roles. She has been a trusted friend and Bass Team member to many. All of these qualities and more are what make Alexis Grandstaff a top candidate for the Top 12 Bassmaster High School All-American.”
Marbut, a senior at Vestavia High School, joins the ranks of the 2021 Bassmaster High School All-American team after netting two first-place finishes in the past 12 months, including winning the 2020 Bassmaster High School National Championship against a 250-plus boat field. He has also racked up seven top-5 finishes and nine top-20 finishes.
“In my field, I have met many hardworking, determined, motivated, energetic and intelligent students,” remarked Curtis Gossett, Briarwood Christian School fishing coach. “However, I have never met one as humble, confident and deserving as Hayden Marbut. I can say, undoubtedly, that Hayden will not only succeed in his pursuit of his fishing goals, but in his pursuit of an education and in life as well.”
Marbut plans to fish on the collegiate level for Auburn University.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn