Luzader makes fishing history with Bryan College scholarship
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Jul 29, 2014 | 1624 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

WALKER VALLEY’S CALEB LUZADER made school and county history by becoming the first local angler to sign with a collegiate fishing team. Seated, from left, are Bethany McCoy (sister), Kim Luzader (mother), Caleb Luzader, Dave Luzader (father) and Anna Carmichael (sister). Standing are Walker Valley Principal Danny Coggin, Bryan College fishing coach Mike Keen and Walker Valley AD Mike Turner. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
WALKER VALLEY’S CALEB LUZADER made school and county history by becoming the first local angler to sign with a collegiate fishing team. Seated, from left, are Bethany McCoy (sister), Kim Luzader (mother), Caleb Luzader, Dave Luzader (father) and Anna Carmichael (sister). Standing are Walker Valley Principal Danny Coggin, Bryan College fishing coach Mike Keen and Walker Valley AD Mike Turner. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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When Caleb Luzader helped make a bass fishing club a reality at Walker Valley, he did so with the hope the club would one day give its members the chance to continue at the competitive intercollegiate level.

What the recent graduate didn’t know was that he would make school and county history by becoming the first angler to sign with a college program.

“I’m ecstatic,” Luzader declared. “I’m the first person in the county to be signed. Really, scholarships for bass fishing are new all across the country — You can count the schools that do it on one hand. I started the bass club at Walker Valley in an attempt to give kids an opportunity for this.”

Bass fishing has been a way of life for Luzader for quite some time.

“I’ve been bass fishing ever since I can remember. I was 2 years old with a Mickey Mouse rod,” Luzader stated. “I got into competitive bass fishing in the fifth, grade and joined the Cleveland junior bass club. I got bit, and once you get bit you can’t quit,” he quipped.

According to bass club sponsor Eric Swafford, Luzader has strong leadership abilities.

“Caleb is the one who came to me and wanted to start the club. He’s been a great leader for us at the school, and has done a great job getting kids interested in the club as well,” Swafford commented. “I think he’ll do great (at the collegiate level). He is a great fisherman and will help Bryan’s team out.”

Monday morning Luzader signed with Bryan College, and will be a part of the school’s inaugural fishing team.

“It’s a blessing and I think it’s great because we will get to set the tone for the Bryan College Fishing Team — we will determine the success. It’s a great honor to be a part of the first team,” Luzader said.

For Bryan College fishing coach Mike Keen, there were many other reasons that led to Luzader’s signing besides his angling skills.

“It’s exciting because Caleb is exactly the kind of young man that we are looking for — a fine Christian boy who loves the Lord, a good angler and a good student. He’s the whole package,” Keen explained. “Not only does he have a great reputation around the area as being a top angler, but it was his character that drew me to him. He’s a solid kid and is the kind of guy that you want to build a whole team around.”

Luzader marked the 16th and final signee for Bryan’s first-year fishing program.

According to Keen, the team will begin practicing in the fall so members will be ready when their season takes off in the spring.

“This is our first year, and is an exciting time for us at Bryan, because this is something brand new to us and we can do it however we want to do it,” Keen proclaimed.