Mayor Don Kyle, on behalf of the City of Decatur, Alabama,
Presents Brianna Tucker, Mitchell Gowen, and Blake Gowen – coach
Of the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy Fishing Eagles Student Angler Chapter Club
With Certificates of Recognition for their accomplishments in promoting the sport of high school bass fishing and for the team composed of Brianna, Mitchell and Boat Captain Norman Brown (not pictured) winning the inaugural Bass Anglers Sportsman Society High School Invitational Tournament staged out of Ingalls Harbor on Wheeler Lake on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
Decatur, Alabama is blessed by being located on the Tennessee River with renowned Wheeler Lake being on its doorstep, and the city having the leadership and vision to construct the now famous Ingalls Harbor which has led to multiple major bass fishing tournaments year around. The city is also honored to have a farsighted Mayor in Don Kyle and a City Council that understands the value of being a top venue for the sport of bass fishing. As such the city is also supported by the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau which maintains contact and relationships with major tournament organizations like TBF-FLW and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.).
Mayor Kyle always attends the pre-tournament meetings and welcomes the organizations, anglers, and families to Decatur and is known to be standing on the dock every morning at 4:00 am for the tournament blast offs. A number of times he has served at MC or weighmaster on the tournament stage because he likes the sport and is well aware of the economic impact such events brings to the Decatur and Morgan County area. He and the City Council take special pride in what the Decatur area has to offer its visitors.
When Melinda Dunn, President of CVB, got wind of B.A.S.S. going to stage the first ever B.A.S.S. High School Invitational Tournament, she dialed in up front with Jon Stewart, Director of BASS NATION to be the sponsor city location. She is always looking out for a return on the city’s investment and B.A.S.S. always provides an excellent return. But this one was SPECIAL – it was to be a high school student angler event by a major national fishing organization. Jon Stewart, Hank Weldon – Tournament MC and B.A.S.S. brought it to town on Saturday, July 20, 2013. B.A.S.S. owner Don Logan is a native of the Hartselle area.
Decatur and Morgan County are not new to competitive student angler bass fishing. It was here that Blake Gowen, Norman Brown, and other interested individuals from all over the state kicked off the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association (recognized by the Alabama State Legislature as the OFFICAL student angler organization in Alabama) which has grown by leaps and bounds since 2010 with almost 2000 student anglers participating in (4) Regional
and the Alabama Student Angler State Championship in 2013. Blake, Norman, and other coaches/boat captains formed the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy Fishing Eagles and set out to make history by becoming the 2010 Alabama Student Angler State Champions with a trip to Montgomery to receive a Proclamation from the Governor.
Earlier this year, B.A.S.S. announced the organization’s development of the BASS Nation High School Bass Fishing Program and the DHCA Fishing Eagles also became a Chapter Club of this organization in order to expand their competitive tournament options.
On Saturday July 20 2013, the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy (DHCA) Fishing Eagles scored another first by student anglers Mitchell Gowen and Brianna Tucker, assisted by boat captain Norman Brown, taking 1st place team honors in the inaugural B.A.S.S. High School Invitational Tournament. Mitchell and Brianna out-fished 65 other high school teams to win the Invitational by bringing in 16 pounds, 15 ounces of largemouth bass. Three student angler teams from DHCA were entered in the event. The tournament weigh-in was streamed live on www.bassmaster.com .
In recognition of this achievement, Mayor Kyle and the Decatur City Council Presented Brianna, Mitchell, and Norman with Certificates of Recognition.
The Resolution read as follows:
WHEREAS, on July 20, 2013, Mitchell Gowen and Brianna Tucker, along with boat captain Norman Brown, with the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy (DHCA) Fishing Eagles, participated in the inaugural B.A.S.S. High School Invitational Tournament sponsored by the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau held on Wheeler Lake out of the Ingalls Harbor; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell and Brianna, assisted by boat captain Norman Brown, out-fished 65 other high school teams to take 1st place team honors in the Invitational by bringing in 16 pounds, 15 ounces of largemouth bass; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell and Brianna will go down in history as the first high school anglers to win a sanctioned B.A.S.S. high school bass fishing event; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell and Brianna have earned the right to compete at the 2014 B.A.S.S. High School Classic Exposition Tournament to be held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Classic out of Birmingham on February 21-23, 2014 and will have exclusive backstage privileges for the entire 2014 Bassmaster Classic;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Don Kyle, as Mayor of the City of Decatur, Alabama, do hereby congratulate Mitchell Gowen, Brianna Tucker, and Norman Brown for their achievements and express our appreciation for the way they have represented this city and wish them success at the tournament in Birmingham in February 2014.HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ANGLER BASS FISHING IS TURNING INTO A MAJOR YOUTH SPORT!