Turn up the bass!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Purdy High School Senior Clay Henderson was joined at the table by his family and current and future coaches as he signed his letter of intent to attend Drury University and join its bass fishing team. Seated, from left, are Hallie Henderson, sister; Shelley Henderson, mother; Clay Henderson; Jay Henderson, father; and Jayse Henderson, sister. Standing are Drury Bass Fishing Coach Rick Emmitt, and Purdy Bass Fishing Coach Sam Harkey right. Contributed photo

Purdy senior signs to Drury fishing team

Purdy High School Senior Clay Henderson has signed a letter of intent to further his education and represent Drury University on its bass fishing team in the fall.

Henderson made his commitment in a special ceremony attended by a host of family, friends and supporters, including his current bass fishing coach, Sam Harkey, and his future coach at Drury, the legendary Rick Emmitt.

Emmitt is in his sixth season as head coach of the highly successful Drury Bass Fishing team, whose accolades include a recent National Championship. The Drury Bass Fishing program currently ranks seventh in the Nation in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year points race.

“Clay is the exact kind of angler I am looking for,” said Emmitt, a Missouri Sports Hall of Fame member. “I am excited to see what the future holds. We are building a really strong program at Drury. I think in the next four years with Clay our future is very bright.”

In his introductory remarks, Harkey applauded Henderson’s strong work ethic, which has brought great success to the Purdy team of Henderson and Mason Harkey. The team’s accomplishments in four years of competition include a Missouri Bass Nation State Championship in 2020; 11 high school tournament Top 10 finishes; two qualifications for the Bassmaster National Championship in 2018 and 2020 and selection for the Bassmaster All-State Fishing Team in 2021.

Prior to signing his letter, Henderson thanked his family and friends for their constant support and encouragement. He offered special gratitude to his father, Jay Henderson, and Coach Harkey.

“They’ve always done everything for us to catch fish,” Henderson said. “They’ve put their hearts and souls into it, just like we have. My success is due to them.

“I really appreciate Coach Emmitt recruiting me. I am excited to get started. I am very happy and blessed to be a part of the Drury Bass Fishing team.”

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