Two Illinois anglers named to 2018 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team

Twelve standout high school anglers from across the country have been selected as members of the exclusive 2018 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The team will be invited to participate in a special tournament held in conjunction with the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Lake Travis this May. (bassmaster.com)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The future of bass fishing in Illinois appears to be bright.

Tyler Lubbat of Wheeling, Ill., and Alec Berens of Channahon, Ill., are among the 12 high school anglers selected as members of the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

According to a Bassmaster news release, more than 465 applications from students grades 10-12 were submitted from 38 states across the nation. Of those, 64 were chosen as Bassmaster All-State anglers. After reviewing tournament résumés, community service activities and recommendations from coaches and school officials, a 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 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a fan-favorite tournament and festival May 17-20 on Lake Travis out of Jonestown, Texas. Elite Series anglers will serve as teammates and “coaches” of the student anglers in the tournament. The high schoolers will be honored on the main Texas Fest stage at the weigh-ins.

Lubbat, a senior at Buffalo Grove High School, is the first repeat qualifier for the Bassmaster High School All-American team, having been selected for the honor in 2017. He placed in the top 5 in nearly every tournament he entered in the last 12 months. He won five of those events, including the Illinois High School Association State Championship.

He has served as his class board treasurer, a member of Interact Club and DECA, an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. He also made sectionals for the World Youth Science and Engineering Organization’s high school academic competition. Lubbat has also earned National Honor Society and National Merit Commended Student State Scholar recognition. On the conservation front, he helps instruct proper fish-care techniques at high school tournaments as well as leading in the collection and cleanup of plastic baits used at events.

“Tyler has exemplified what it means to be a well-rounded student striking a balance between academics, activities, bass fishing and community service, drawing on his leadership skills to manage and excel in all areas of high school life,” wrote Mark Schaetzlein, assistant principal for student activities at Buffalo Grove High School.

Berens, a senior at Minooka Community High School District 111, has five tournament wins over the past 12 months. He was a double qualifier for the 2018 Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation State Championship and earned the top spot in the standings in the Minooka Anglers Club. He’s also the president of his bass fishing team.

“Alec Berens has a focus that is hard to break,” said his club advisor, Stan Tischer. “He always finds a way to succeed when the odds are against him. He is very positive and forward-moving in the face of adversity, and he is quick to adapt in times of uncertainty. Aside from his great performance on the water, his work for the club, environment and the community is equally outstanding.”

Besides Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee also had two representatives on the team.

Rounding out the squad: Spencer Childers, Jasper, Ga.; Cal Culpepper, Hamilton, Ga.; James Gibbons, Timmonsville, S.C.; Karson Hamilton, Hot Springs, Ark.; Ethan King, Wilsonville, Ala.; Thomas Martin, Marquez, Texas; Garrett McWilliams, Florence, Miss.; Dalton Smith, Brandon, Miss.; Samuel Vandagriff, McMinnville, Tenn.; and Jacob Woods, Loudon, Tenn.

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