Alcoa High School proving to be a force in fishing

The Alcoa Tornadoes are among the top teams in the nation!
Walker LaRue and Joe Vaulton
Walker LaRue and Joe Vaulton(Rick Russo)
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - When you think of athletics and the Alcoa tornadoes, football usually comes to mind and rightfully so.

However, making ripples of late in the water are the members of the Alcoa fishing team. Rising Sophomore Walker LaRue and rising Junior Joe Vaulton are fishing fast and furious.

This was the team’s first season together as a freshman/sophomore team competing with a group of very successful upperclassmen. They have worked hard with their teammates to try and help everyone have a great season.

Here are some stats from the year:

20 Events Fished (large school events)

12 Top-10′s

9 Top-5′s

2 Lunker Awards.

They finished 4th overall in a points race in two separate divisions within the state this year. All teams are trying the entire season to qualify for the Bassmasters and MLF National Championship.

Both events require teams to qualify and have a limited field of 300 boats from across the nation. Alcoa has three teams qualified for the 2022 Bassmaster High School Nationals on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina in August of this year.

Walker and Joe actually qualified three times for that event.-Southeast TN BASS Nation Trail (250+ teams), LaRue/Vaulton 4th overall in the points-Bass Pro Shops Kodak TN High School Trail (250+ teams), LaRue/Vaulton 4th overall in the points-3X 2022 Bassmaster High School National qualified.

The 4th place finished in the Worlds was in the 2022 TBF World Nationals out of 416 teams from 40 states and various countries (including Greece, Zimbabwai, and even Canada)

6th place in the 2022 MLF National Championship was a huge feat. They were the only team from Tennessee to finish in the top 10 out of the 236 qualified teams. Qualifying for that event is very difficult, with the anglers needing top finishes on unfamiliar lakes.

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