Tornadoes take home fishing championship

Alcoa team dominates state competition
State Champion Tornadoes
State Champion Tornadoes(Alcoa High School)
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 11:42 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - This past weekend was the 2023 Tennessee High School State Championship for anglers under the Bassmaster High School organization.

Well, the Alcoa fishing team, which is comprised of teams throughout our county, had some unbelievable finishes and won some really prestigious state titles for the season.

In the state championship event, 203 qualified teams competed in a two-day event on Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. Alcoa ended up taking home 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 20th (3 top 5 finishes!!) With this solid performance and the team was rewarded the Top Team of the event.

Overall state rankings are calculated by five events held throughout the year, all across the entire state and combined with totals from the two-day state championship. With the great performances from our anglers all season and the championship, Alcoa took home the 2023 Commissioners Cup.

All of the above finishes are truly tough, especially as a very young team. But we also had some individual teams wins some of the biggest awards in the state. The team of Joe Vaulton and Walker LaRue were crowned as the State Team of the Year-Angler of the Year. This is by far the hardest title for an individual team to win, especially competing against 477 very talented teams from all across the state. This title is determined strictly by their performances in all State level events. This puts Vaulton/LaRue as the top ranked high school team in the entire state. Both of these anglers were actually nationally ranked in the top 5% during 2021/22.

Alcoa also had two teams finish very high in the overall state rankings. The team of Jackie Hatfield and Graham Willis finished 5th, and Harlyn Nelson and Jake Lovingood followed in 11th. These are all really amazing finishes for our anglers, team, and Blount County!

Congratulations Tornadoes!