Pioneer’s Jared Hubbard, Sam Glazier set to compete in 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship

  • Pioneer students Sam Glazier and Jared Hubbard on the boat during a practice round on Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tennessee before the 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 7/27/2021 6:47:16 PM
Modified: 7/27/2021 6:47:16 PM

A pair of Pioneer Valley Regional students are in for the toughest fishing trip of their lives Thursday. 

Following stellar performances through three High School Opens in Massachusetts, Sam Glazier and Jared Hubbard are in Tennessee to compete in the 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship. The event takes place at Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn., with two qualifying rounds Thursday and Friday before the championship on Saturday.

Glazier and Hubbard will be competing with over 250 of the best high school bass anglers from around the country in the event, which is considered the top high school bass fishing tournament in the country. 

“Lake Chickamauga is one of the most prestigious lakes in America,” Hubbard said. “Being in the South, we’ve been watching the pro tournaments that have been there. We’re watching what the pros have done, how they patterned there. It’s a totally different than what we’re used to. We’ve never fished in a lake that big or anything down South but it’s an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.” 

In the High School Open, Glazier and Hubbard competed against the best anglers in Massachusetts with two spots in the national championship on the line. 

Following a third-place performance on the opening day of the competition, the Pioneer duo found their groove and finished first in the final two events to earn 298 out of a possible 300 points. They credit their boat captain Kaleb Brown — a Pioneer alum who is a rising senior at Landers University in South Carolina — for helping them win their first big tournament. Brown fishes on the Landers squad. 

“With the boat numbers, we knew we had a chance going in,” Hubbard said. “We had Kaleb as our captain so he has a lot of knowledge and really helped us.”

Brown is the one who helped Glazier and Hubbard get into the bass fishing world. He competed in these same tournaments while he was at Pioneer and now competes for Landers, which has one of the best bass fishing teams in the country. The pair said his perspective has been critical for their success. 

The two reached out to Brown, who got them into the Mass. Bass Fishing League. Once they got into the league, their fishing careers took off. 

“He’s a really good guy,” Glazier said of Brown. “He’s really going to help us out a lot down here.” 

The Bassmaster High School National Championship will be different than any tournament Glazier or Hubbard has ever competed in. Lake Chickamauga is larger than any lake they’ve fished on and there will be more boats competing than other tournaments they’ve been in. 

The changes will force them to use a different strategy than they’ve used in the past. 

“We’ve never been in a competition with so many teams,” Hubbard said. “There’s so many people trying to fish the same stuff. There’s no real lake in Massachusetts besides Webster Lake so it’s going to be a whole new ball game. We’ll learn a lot on practice days, do our research and find a pattern.” 

Teams in the tournament were allowed to practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the event. Glazier and Hubbard have tried to use the time to improve and learn as much as they can. 

“You can practice as long as you want, basically from sunrise to sundown if you wanted to,” Glazier said. “Most every boat was out there [Monday]. Our first practice was slow; it’s really hot down here. It’s so much different down here. If there isn’t a current, you don’t get a bite.” 

Brown is once again captaining the boat for Glazier and Hubbard down in Tennessee. He’s helped show them that bass fishing is something they can continue to do after high school.

“He helps us with our confidence,” Hubbard said. “Our confidence is through the roof right now. When you have a boat captain who’s in a top-25 college program, you feel pretty good going into a tournament. He told us this is our moment to figure out if this is something we want to do in college.” 

What makes the partnership between Glazier and Hubbard so special is their genuine friendship and shared love for the sport.

“He’s big into it like I am,” Hubbard said of Glazier. “It’s fun to share it with him. We’re both so passionate about it, we yell at each other on the boat and hold each other accountable. It helps that we’re from the same town and go to the same school. I’m at his house every night talking fishing.” 

As for how they expect things will go, the duo is entering the competition without any real expectations. 

“I can’t make a call on expectations,” Glazier said. “It’s going to be hit or miss. I was nervous coming down here. It’s a new environment, it’s stressful for sure but we’ll see what happens.” 

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