Honors keep rolling in for WCHS angler Samuel Vandagriff.
The Pioneer senior was named Monday to the Bassmaster All-American team, one of only 12 high school students to receive the prestigious national honor.
Vandagriff was praised in the release from Bassmaster for his accolades on the lakes, as well as his involvement in the community.
“Samuel leads off the water in his school, church and community, participating in things like hurricane relief, Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life,” David Lowrie, Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation High School state director to Bassmaster.
“He always volunteers to assist in the setup and teardown of the Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation stage and equipment for tournaments. Samuel provides leadership for Warren County’s fishing team and sets an example for other Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation high school and junior anglers.”
Everybody associated with Vandagriff praises his work ethic and ability. His coach J.W. Holt has nothing but good things to say about his newly minted All-American.
“Receiving this award speaks volumes of his leadership, work ethic and dediciation,” said Holt. “He and his brother Matthew (his partner in several tournament wins) have a knack for fishing. They put the time in, they work hard and practice. When you dedicate yourself to something like they do, you’re going to reap the benefits.”
Vandagriff is set to graduate in May with a 3.87 GPA and is already slated to attend Tennessee Tech. His fishing exploits have already earned him over $10,000 in scholarship money, a total he can add to this spring when he goes for more titles.
The Vandagriff brothers are slated to hit Dale Hollow Lake this weekend for competition before competing in the The Battle of Chick on Lake Chickamauga April 28. Samuel will also compete in the state tournament on Old Hickory Lake May 3-4 and has already qualified for the Bassmaster National Championship in August.
Holt knows what the goal for his senior is right now.
“I know he wants to win the national title. He’s been on Kentucky Lake three times and has gotten better each time,” said Holt. “The ultimate goal is to win.”
Even if Vandagriff isn’t able to bring home the national trophy, he’s already helped put Warren County on the map in the angling world.
“He’s taken our program to the next level. He’s brought more attention to our team with tournament wins and now this honor, just being one of the best 12 kids in the nation,” said Holt.
Among the other honorees was Jacob Woods from Lenior City High School. Woods and Vandagriff, friendly competitors during the high school season, could be teammates next year at Tech.