MINOOKA — Minooka Community High School senior A.J. Wojtowicz has been named to the B.A.S.S. 2017 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team. A.J., son of Diane and Kenneth Wojtowicz of Shorewood, is one of only two Illinois high school bass fishermen presented with this honor.
To be considered for the All-State Fishing Team, a student must have been nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students currently enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current-year grade point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible, according to Bassmaster.com. A.J.’s grade point average is 3.91 (on a 4.0 scale) and he was nominated by Minooka bass fishing coaches Stan and Joe Tischer.
Also, according to Bassmaster.com, B.A.S.S. received more than 380 nominations from across the nation. From these, judges selected 69 student anglers from 40 states to make the All-State Fishing Teams.
A second panel of judges will review nominations of the 69 all-state team members and select the 12 members of the 2017 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team.
As in all-state judging, criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments, involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities. The 12 finalists that earn All-American status will compete in a one-day Bassmaster All-American High School Bass Tournament in Texas on May 17-21.
Wojtowicz, who is currently the president of the Minooka Anglers Club (the MCHS bass fishing team), has enjoyed success as a high school angler. He has won the IHSA Sectional Tournament twice and has also qualified twice for the IHSA State Bass Fishing Tournament (and earned a 4th and a 19th place finish). Wojtowicz, who has been fishing since he was a child and credits his two grandfathers and his father for teaching him about the sport, is humbled by the honor.
“This is a great honor,” he said in a news release. “This is something I can proudly have with me for the rest of my life.”
“A.J. is a great young man,” Stan Tischer said. “He comes out to every event and he goes out of his way to help out his younger teammates with spooling their reels and selecting lures. He is a very good teammate.”
When he is not fishing, A.J. runs his own business, Bass-Tuff-Baits, for which he makes quality, hand-tied, living rubber jigs.
After high school, A.J. plans to attend Ferris State University, where he plans to major in construction management.