Apparently 13 or more South Carolina high schools have petitioned the state Athletic Union to make “Bass Fishing” a varsity sport. Proponents argue that it is physically rigorous and a mentally demanding sport. They add that as a lettered varsity sport in high school it could lead to college scholarships in, wait for it, “Fishing.” I can hear it now… oh I was on the fishing team at Hahvad.
I can picture the fleets of bass boats at each high school now! Some schools in the more prosperous or expanding school districts constructing on site bait shops and engine repair. Justifying them as hands on classes in biology and mechanics.
Of course adoption of bass Fishing at the varsity level would also entail feeder programs at the both the jr. varsity and middle school levels where students would no doubt work their way up to bass fishing by concentrating first on pan fishing.
The Physics instructors, if they still have a job, would be able to integrate hydraulics, buoyancy, displacement into their curriculum. The calculus teachers could create lessons using the limits of graphite vs diameter at varying distances from the reel and create problems on the diminishing returns of lengthy line sets for bass fishing. The could do this while sitting at their 50-year-old desks in their 50-year-old classrooms with their 50 year texts and equipment. At the same time the technology people could re-task their lessons away from computer programming and information systems into understanding and using sonar and fish finders. English classes would analyze country western songs about fishing and discuss the deeper meaning of Seuss’s ” One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish.”
To me the idea of varsity fishing has it all and think of the possibilities down the road; NASCAR jr., frog gigging, dark house spearing, kindling splitting and extreme spelling could become varsity sports. Minnesota and N. Dakota not to be outdone, could institute ice fishing as a varsity sport and students could travel the circuit transferring from school to school to follow the seasons.
I enjoy fishing. but sadly I now realize that if I only had a varsity bass fishing program in my high school I could have attained my dream, gone pro ( just like all high school athletes do) and spent all my days driving a beautiful boat with a powerful engine across various bodies of water at high speeds in exotic climes, dressed like a billboard and talking to an invisible audience. All things I feel that our best and brightest in reality need not aspire to.
Oh and by the way, there would have to be both a women’s and men’s bass fishing team so double the expense, double the fun, and double the fishing all rolled into one. Two fishing coaches would be required along with drivers, buses, boats, tackle and lures. Sadly at the same time, if like most high schools, there would only be one physics teacher using student desks that still have an ink well holes, but ready to roll on quantum mechanics with a box of slide rules at her side.