Plant City and Strawberry Crest will be represented in Tennessee
The fishing teams for Plant City High School and Strawberry Crest High School will both compete in the 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship in Dayton, Tennessee on July 29-31.
Plant City will be represented by senior Colten Drawdy and freshman Chase Mobley, alongside Chase’s father Gene Mobley as their captain. And for Strawberry Crest, sophomore Kody Glass will be competing alone alongside his father Derek Glass as his captain.
With a $4,000 scholarship on the line, as many as 250 high school teams will take the water for the national competition.
Plant City and Strawberry Crest are a part of just 11 National Championship qualifying teams from Florida, battling a field that had been narrowed down to 60 teams in the state finals, and both teams prepare for their upcoming tournament with unique strengths.
Kody Glass will be fishing as a one-man team, but he doesn’t find the process of competing alone as a problem.
“It’s easier, I think,” Kody Glass said about competing solo. “The hardest part is that I don’t have a netman. It’s just kind of [bringing in the fish] one-handed and netting it myself.”
This past year was Kody Glass’ first year as a member of Strawberry Crest’s fishing team, following behind two of his close friends in Chase Givens and Chase Hubble who had both previously taken the Chargers’ team to nationals prior to graduating.
For Plant City’s team, Gene Mobley brings 10 years of professional bass fishing experience as a coach and captain.
“You’re a coach,” Gene Mobley said about his presence as Plant City’s captain. “I take the knowledge that I have from the fishing industry as a coach and when we’re on the water, when we’re practicing, it’s helping them out. It’s putting them in good situations where they can perform and do well and it’s been awesome. I can’t do anything, as a captain I can only run the boat and sit there. I can give information but as far as helping out, they’re on their own.”
So while Kody Glass has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Strawberry Crest’s past National Championship contenders, Plant City’s duo will lean on their unique pairing and experienced coaching as they prepare for Tennessee.
“This is our first year [fishing] with Colten because Chase is a freshman,” Gene Mobley said. “The senior leadership that he brought with Chase, they gelled together so well and we hit the ground running. That’s been the biggest part of our success, having that senior leadership with Colten and then adding Chase who was part of the Team of the Year last year as a junior team. I think that putting Chase with Colten this year was a good thing and it has paid off really well for both of them.”
But while reaching the national stage is an incredible accomplishment in its own right, both teams experience something bigger than the sport itself with a father-son duo on each boat.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” Derek Glass said about participating as captain while his son competes. “There’s not a feeling in the world like it. The sheer feeling of seeing him when he gets a big fish in the boat and knowing that he’s sitting pretty good, it’s unbelievable. I don’t even know how to describe it. I’ve shed many happy tears sitting in that seat watching him.”
Drawdy will fish for Polk State College next year while Kody Glass and Chase Mobley will both be prepared to look for continued success at the high school level, following this year’s National Championship. In addition, Chase Mobley is also committed to Florida State University for baseball.