No way I can capture all of the hard work and amazing stories of this state championship team.
I also don't have time to thank ALL the former anglers and boat captains who helped us grow to this point... the Turnblooms, the Jennings, the Jeters, the Flemmings, the Cale's, the Guthrie's.... and special individuals who helped us: Lance Coggins, Bill Cunningham, Nolen Vinson, Austin Luke, Jeff Davis, Stinson Slawson, Doyle Powell, Jimmy Houston, Pat Turner, Lisa Talmadge... and I have missed MANY!
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5
I must start back to LAST MAY- 2018
May 6- 2018
May 25, 2018
Our team got to work right away- I named Grayson Morris, Tucker Smith, and Chandler Holt team captains and they never slowed down! This team fished hours, and hours, and hours....
Chandler Holt and BCS grad, Jared Turnbloom (Univ. of Ala Fishing) won a local tournament at Lay Lake
June 6, 2018
One cool aspect of high school fishing is how many college anglers helped us out.
Grayson Morris and Zeke Gossett caught a huge bag at Lay Lake.
June 10, 2018
I have a goal of becoming a better boat captain... and I don't get a lot of opportunities- But I had a blast being a boat captain for Chandler Holt in an Airport Marine tournament on Lay Lake.
June 19, 2018
We started filming 'Winning Edges" and had no clue the big year that lay ahead!
BCS filmed the 1st ever episode of Winning Edges at Pickwick
Shimano helped BCS film more episodes of Winning Edges at Lake Caroline. I also loved that we were including expert anglers from other schools!
BCS broadcasting class got its first look at all of the footage for Winning Edges and felt almost overwhelmed with the task ahead
We pushed out the Winning Edges Trailer and we were excited to receive permission from Jordan Feliz to use his song, The River, for our show…. We were pumped!!
We resumed filming at Logan Martin, Lay Lake, Lake Caroline.... every show was hot but the film crew and anglers persevered. We had ALL kinds of issues- wind, heat, sound quality, video bouncing- and often the fish did not bite on camera though we killed them when not shooting!
We finish filming footage for six episodes of Winning Edges. Each episode gets better as we learn from many mistakes.
Aug 2, 2018
Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith finish in 5th place after Day 1 at Kentucky Lake. They are in the hunt for the BASS Mossy Oak High School National Championship
Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith make the 12 cut and begin day 3 for the National Championship in 3rd place. Former BCS angler JT Russell is their boat captain.
National Champions! The Briarwood team set the entire state of Alabama abuzz with the impressive 3 day total 50.2 lbs and blow away the competition on the final day!
Media, friends, family, and BASS officials pack a press conference at Briarwood to honor the new National Champions! For many weeks the two are mentioned in articles and stories about their great accomplishment!
Team and friends gather at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch Grayson and Tucker on ESPN.
Chandler Holt, Riley Underwood, Mason Wright, and Ian Davis take time to work with kids at the Briarwood Church Trail Life fishing expo at Oak Mountain State Park. I love when our guys give back!
The BCS graphics team creates the logo for Winning Edges
World famous angler, Jimmy Houston announces that Briarwood Christian School will have our own TV show on his network.
Tucker and Grayson spend the summer being a great representative for Hammer Rods. Other sponsors are showing interest.
Sept 27, 2018
Shimano invites Tucker and Grayson to Springfield, MO for the 2018 Hall of Fame induction of many anglers including Kevin Van Dam. The two attend Bass Pro and meet Johnny Morris and many other great contacts in the world of fishing.
On the way back from the Hall of Fame Dinner, Tucker and Grayson sign an endorsement agreement with Drake Performance fishing.
Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith won a 3rd place finish in the Airport Marine tournament at Smith Lake. They were less than a half pound out of 1st. There were over 100 boats in tourney.
These guys are beginning to grow in what it means to fish with expectations and notoriety... and they do it well!
Oct 23, 2018
Winning Edges TV goes live on JHL.TV and is an immediate hit
Episode 2 appears on JHL.TV
Winning Edges YouTube Channel goes live
Winning Edges the book goes live on Amazon.com
Episode 5 appears on JHL.TV
FALL KING OF THE COOSA
We also spent all fall fishing the District 3 fall trail
When Jordan Martens was sitting in 11th place in the King of the Coosa standings. I asked "Does that qualify as the Queen of the Coosa?"
Episode 6 appears on JHL.TV
It was a big day for BCS senior, Mason Wright who came in 4th place in the King of the Coosa at Lay Lake. Mason has had a great career and will be a big part of our team this spring! Congrats to Jordan Martens for finishing 13th for the ENTIRE FALL and all of the BCS anglers and boat captains for fishing in TOUGH conditions. Next for us are the team events in the spring.
Notice what I wrote that day
“This was quite a nice day for Riley Underwood and Mason Wright. Mason finished 4th for today and Riley finished 27th for the entire FALL trail. This will be a tough team in the spring!”
And now it looks like I was a prophet!
Shimano gave us a social media shout out to Winning Edges
Tucker and Grayson came in 2nd place. 17.28 lbs. $500 and $1,750 per year each scholarship money to Faulkner Univ @ Lake Mitchell Airport Marine
Elite Pro, Randy Howell plugs the Winning Edges book on his social media
We officially begin season 2 of Winning Edges
Jimmy Houston gives a new video plug of Winning Edges
AND OUR TEAM KEEPS FISHING- BAD CONDITIONS MEAN BIG FISH
Coach Curtis Gossett speaks to the BCS bass team
Tucker and Grayson get it done with an Airport Marine 4th place finish that also moved them into 2nd for angler of the year points!
Grayson becomes the 3rd college angler from BCS, but he is the first to SIGN on signing day
Congrats to BCS senior, Grayson Morris, for signing a bass scholarship with the University of Montevallo yesterday. Grayson had quite a 2018- TWO wins including the BassMaster National Championship, a 2nd place finish,Two 3rd place finishes, and THREE top 20's. He still has a senior spring and summer to go!
Jimmy Houston puts out another video about Winning Edges. It is having an amazing response on JHL.TV
REGION TEAM WIN AT LAKE MARTIN
BCS had a great TEAM WIN
The team finished 1st in the ASABFA Regional at Lake Martin, our 1st tournament of the 2019 team season. Great job Lions!
BCS Bass team featured in Birmingham Christian magazine
WE START WORKING HARD ON EUFAULA
Congrats to Grayson Morris and Tucker Smith for All-State recognitions by B.A.S.S. - this is one tremendous honor for these guys!
With an hour left in our tournament Grayson and Tucker had 3 fish and decided to make a move to go catch a limit and ended up catching the limit and even getting a 13th place finish out of 200 boats..
National Championship rings come in
REGION TEAM WIN AT EUFAULA
Jordan and Sadie win tournament with 19.22. Team wins 2nd tournament in a row.
March 14- 18
Tucker and Grayson participate in the Bassmaster Classic including the Night of Champions and a great finish (4th place) in the Classic Tournament. Grayson and Tucker got the full classic experience: They worked the Drake Performance booth at the expo, weighed in fish on the classic stage, did a Drake photo shoot, and then Grayson announced a partnership with Livingston Lures. Our bass team training is NOT just fishing... you better know how to serve your sponsors and represent well in public. Proud of our team!
Coach Mathews participates in a dinner with Jimmy Houston, Bill Dance, and Hank Parker were gracious with their time and kindness.
Coach Mathews goes on nationwide I-heart radio with Misty Wells show to discuss BCS Bass Team and Winning Edges
We had a great time at Marks Outdoors Pro Day. Thanks to Aaron Martens for showing us some lure specifics!
Grayson and Tucker get the Triton they won at the National Championship/…. finally
Coach Mathews episode with Jimmy Houston "Fishing Coach" aired on CBS Sports, the Pursuit Channel, and the World Fishing Network for the week.
Tucker and Grayson take over BASS Instagram and followed by thousands
Grayson and Tucker are part of a national video promotion for Drake Performance fishing
Briarwood Bass Team now has an All-American! Congrats to Tucker Smith for being chosen as one of 12 anglers in the nation to be recognized as All-American
AND WE ARE WORKING HARD FOR PICKWICK- THIS TEAM LOGGED HOURS AND HOURS OF PRACTICE TIME
FINAL PICKWICK PREP....
Aaron Martens spoke to Bass Club on April 18
ASABFA meetings and we had a good dinner together
REGION TEAM WIN AT PICKWICK
THREE IN A ROW!
We win at Pickwick with a 1st, 3rd, and 5th place finish- our best team finish ever and our 3rd team win in a row. Mason and Riley won and Chandler and David finished 3rd. The girls came in 5th.
Tucker and Grayson place 4th in the B.A.S.S. Nation tournament on Martin
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT- LAKE JORDAN
THURSDAY, MAY 2- ASABFA MEETING IN WETUMPKA
WE HAD A LOT OF AWARDS
All the seniors got Hammer rods
Grayson ASABFA Scholarship Winner
David Scharf- Presidential ASABFA Scholarship
Jordan and Sadie- Winning Boat at Eufaula
Riley and Mason- Winning Boat at Pickwick
Chandler and David - 3rd Place!
THURSDAY, MAY 2- TEAM DINNER AT CALVARY BAPTIST- WETUMPKA
FRIDAY, MAY 3- DAY 1 ON THE ASABFA CLASSIC
I was in the hotel room calculating points as the day 1 weigh ins were coming in
SATURDAY, MAY 4TH- DAY 2 OF THE ASABFA CLASSIC
A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP DAY!
IT WAS A CRAZY DAY- rain, a small tornado, a boat-police car wreck.... The Underwood/Wright dodging downed power lines and an empty gas tank to make the weigh in!
MASON AND RILEY ENDED UP WITH QUITE A YEAR!
Even though the ASABFA does not recognize and individual boat of the year- Mason and Riley easily won the overall points- and we had 3 boats in top 20- that is great consistency!
The biggest key? See the random example below of how we communicated.......
TEAM WORK- A LOOK AT HOW WE CHEERED EACH OTHER ON:
THE YEAR OF TWO RINGS!
Lake Martin Feb. 9, 2019
Lake Eufaula March 9, 2019
Pickwick Lake April 20, 2019
2nd Place: Classic at Lake Jordan May 3/4, 2019
Briarwood Student Anglers
Coach Jay Mathews
Briarwood Boat Captains
Going into next year
Grayson and Tucker still are up for Anglers of the Year for BASS!
They will defend their National Championship in August
Coach Curtis Gossett will become the NEW head coach of the Briarwood Bass Team
Coach Mathews will become Sponsor and Assistant
We expect Winning Edges to continue......
This is only the beginning.......