Sale Creek senior, recent graduate receive more than $200,000 in scholarship offers after fishing competition win

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Sep. 19—Sale Creek Middle/High School senior Banks Shaw and 2021 graduate Gage King received $239,000 in scholarship offers from three universities after winning the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship in July.

The scholarship opportunities come from three private institutions: Bethel University, Bryan College and Drury University.

The students were recognized at the Hamilton County Board of Education meeting Thursday, where Elaine Harper, superintendent of the district's North River Learning Community, spoke to the board. She was accompanied by Sale Creek Assistant Principal David Green and Shaw, who brought the team's trophy.

"This is the first national championship for a high school team from Tennessee, and to make it even sweeter, it was on their home lake of Chickamauga," Harper said.

In addition to the college scholarship offers, Harper said King and Shaw earned the Bassmaster Scholarship and the Hunter Owens Big Bag of the Tournament Scholarship. Those scholarships add up to $7,000, according to the district.

King attends Tennessee Tech University and majors in wildlife management, Harper said, and Shaw has not yet decided where he will attend college.

"I am so proud of Gage and Banks for their passion as well as grit to bring home the first-ever fishing national championship not only to Sale Creek but to the state of Tennessee," said Sale Creek Principal LeAnn Welch in a news release. "They have consistently prioritized and excelled in their academics, which allowed them to hone their skills on the water and ultimately land the big one."

The Bassmaster High School National Championship is a three-day fishing competition where competitors work in teams of two. This year's competition ran from July 29-31.

Tournament rankings and the ultimate winners were determined by the weight of each team's catch, according to competition rules posted on the Bassmaster website.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at or 423-757-6592.

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