Norsworthy gets college fishing scholarship
One of Mississippi’s most-accomplished high school bass fishermen, Lake Norsworthy of Brandon, has signed an athletic scholarship to compete in bass fishing at Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain.
Blue Mountain is the only college in Mississippi — one of about a dozen nationally — that offers scholarships for the sport, and the small school in the northeast corner of the state is among the top teams in the nation.
According to Coach Shane Cox, Blue Mountain finished fifth nationally in overall combined points on the three national college tours — Cabelas (now Bass Pro Shop), FLW and Bassmaster.
“Lake Norsworthy is one of the best high school fishermen I have ever seen or heard of,” he said. “We are happy to have him competing for the Toppers.”
Norsworthy is one of two Mississippi high school anglers to sign with Blue Mountain this year. Cox said Jake Kimbrough of Amory has also signed an agreement to fish for the Toppers.
The school’s team will have 10 or 11 members when the 2020-21 season begins in September. Ten anglers were on the team this past season, including Cox’s son, Ty, who is a senior.
Norsworthy, who often partners with his father, Mike Norsworthy, to compete against adults in tournaments on Barnett Reservoir, has an impressive resume as a member of the Brandon High School bass team. On it are 11 wins, 10 second-place finishes, five angler-of-the-year titles and four qualifications for the national championship.
Norsworthy plans to study business at Blue Mountain.
Cox, who owns Hammer Rods and lives in Guntown, has been with Blue Mountain since its bass program started three years ago.
“They called me about wanting to start a bass team, and (after) one attempt to get one going failed, they called back and said it was pretty much a go,” Cox said. “All of the schools that give scholarships through (their) fishing program are small, private schools like Blue Mountain. These are not full rides, but partial scholarships. There is no limit to team members, as long as I stay within the scholarship allowance.
“The key thing for us is that the school does cover all our team expenses for our tournaments. That’s a big deal right there, and it allows us to fish all three of the major college circuits, which usually means somewhere between 12 and 13 events a year. There are a lot of big schools like Mississippi State and Auburn that have fishing teams, but they do not offer scholarship aid and do not cover all the expenses.”
The level playing field is why you see school names like Adrian, Bethel, Kentucky Christian, Montevallo, Emmanuel and Blue Mountain atop leaderboards.