KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Angelers Joe Vaulton and Walker LaRue beat out over 450 teams for the top accomplishment Tennessee has to offer in high school fishing, State Team of the Year.

You may not know it but Tennessee has the fastest growing high school fishing program in the nation, Vaulton and LaRue among it’s best.

“They fish very well, they think alike, they don’t let the pressure get to them, I guess what sets them apart a little bit is their willingness to go out and try something  different and just work with other teams, share advice and then be able to use it on the water,” said J.J. LaRue, Alcoa fishing team head coach.

The duo’s motivation is simple, they just love to fish

“Basically I think we’ve spent everyday of the summer together this year and it’s like we talk everyday and we’re just on the same page about everything mostly like a lot of teams I don’t ever see them fishing together like outside of tournaments, me and walker that’s all we do like outside of tournaments we’re always fishing together,” said Vaulton.

Up next for the two is Nationals, “If you go to nationals knowing good and well you can swing for the fence  knowing good and well you can hero or zero and if you zero if you do and if you don’t you maybe win but you got nothing to lose in that tournament,” said Walker LaRue.

Alongside the duo in South Carolina will be four other Alcoa teams, the Tornados won the 2023 Commissioners Cup, given to the top high school program in the state, and will be one of the most represented on the national stage.

“I think each team feeds off each other as far as success as more teams become successful, everybody bands together and we compete hard but we’re also competing just for Alcoa and try to separate us from the pack,” said J.J. LaRue.

Nearly 400 teams will take to the water at the end of July vying for the title of National Champion.