A new, unconventional sport is “hooking” high schoolers around East Cobb – bass fishing. Two East Cobb Christian schools have bass fishing teams and are already making an impact, with an expectation to continue growing.
Mount Bethel Christian Academy (MBCA) started their bass fishing program the first year the high school opened in 2014 and has had a team in the State Championship for the last three years. Johnson Ferry Christian Academy (JFCA) started their program in 2017 and put a team in the State Championship in their first year!
Brooks Anderson, a junior at MBCA, started the MCBA fishing team in 2014 and has gone on to qualify for the National Championship for the last two consecutive years. In order to qualify for the National Championship, a team has to finish in the top ten percent in the state. Mount Bethel has ranked 5th in Georgia Bassnation Angler of Year Rankings in both 2017 and 2018 and gone on to the National Championship both years.
“My best experience from this team is definitely the opportunity to be able to compete at a level that is designed to prepare you for college fishing,” Brooks says.
Mitchell Dean, founder and president of the JFCA bass fishing team, started the program while in middle school and is now a freshman leading the JFCA team. Brooks Anderson helped JFCA start their team and now JFCA has over 20 students in the first year of the club. The team had their kick off meeting in the fall of 2018.
“We currently have 24 anglers in the league” says Mitchell. “We started out with 10 or 12 students at the start of the school year and over the course of this year it has doubled!”
JFCA had success in their first year by being Runner Up State Champions in the GICAA (Greater Independent Christian Athletic Association) league and also qualified for the Georgia Bassnation State Championship in 2018.
As a show of cooperation in the bass community, Brooks and Mitchell are fishing jointly in a league known as Bassnation Wiregrass. The sport has grown so exponentially over the last few years, with many tournaments exceeding 150 teams. Both Brooks and Mitchell look forward to what the sport has to offer and are glad to assist any students in the East Cobb area that may want an opportunity to take part in the sport.
This article originally appeared in the March issue of the EAST COBBER magazine, on page 10. Click here to view the digital edition.