Warren County High School senior Matthew Vandagriff has met very few fish he couldn’t catch.
A lifetime of fishing awards keep piling up for the local angler as Vandagriff has been named to the 2020 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team. He is one of only 12 fishermen in the nation to earn this distinction.
“They surprised us with the announcement,” said Vandagriff. “I got an email from BASS saying everyone would have to do an online interview and they would be conducting 12 at a time. So I got on there and it was a live facetime video. That’s when they surprised us and said this isn’t an interview. Congratulations, you are the 12 who got it.”
As for his fishing career, Vandagriff says, “I’ve been fishing since I could walk. The more you fish, the more you learn.”
Vandagriff says he participates in a fishing tournament at least every other weekend, sometimes every weekend. He does this year-round.
“If it’s snowing outside, we still go fishing,” he said.
According to Bassmaster, Vandagriff has two wins, seven finishes in the top 5, and four finishes in the top 20 over the past year. He has finished in the top 5 of the Tennessee BASS Nation High School points race every year since 2016 and has been to the Bassmaster High School National Championship every year since eighth grade.
“Matthew has many valuable qualities that allow him to excel and succeed today and in the future,” said WCHS executive principal Clark George. “He is a leading member of the Pioneer fishing team and is always willing to provide guidance and support to his younger, less experienced teammates.”
Vandagriff and his WCHS fishing partner, Asa Robertson, will compete in the regional fishing tournament June 13, the day after WCHS graduation. The state tournament follows in July.
By virtue of being an All-American, Vandagriff gets to compete in a one-day tournament with the other 11 finalists. That tournament was originally scheduled in early June in Texas. However, it has been postponed and a new date has not been set.