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February 23, 2012
Three states add bass fishing as high school varsity sport: Will S.C. follow suit?
The state of Kentucky recently joined Illinois and Tennessee by adding bass fishing as a high school varsity sport. The lakes, rivers and streams of South Carolina have always been a haven for anglers and record-breaking catches, but will young anglers soon have a chance to win a high school state championship?
Currently South Carolina has 11 public high schools with bass fishing clubs and the goal is to reach at least 16. The schools can then petition to form bass fishing as a varsity sport and more students who may not already participate in an extra-curricular activity get a chance to be a part of a team and compete for a state championship. Not only that, but it will hopefully foster a lifelong love of the sport.
Form a bass fishing club at your school and you can also compete in tournaments around South Carolina. Clubs currently compete in inter-squad tournaments, against other schools as well as fish The Bass Federation of SC Junior Championship and other Student Angler Federation High School Tournaments.
A two brother team from the Barnwell County Career Center Bass Fishing Club, Cody and Trevor Jeffers, competed in the 2011 High School Fishing World Finals in Russellville, Arkansas on Lake Dardanelle last July. The Jeffers brothers were strong competitors for the other 101 teams from 23 different states and eventually came in 7th. T.L. Hanna High School anglers, Hampton Anderson and Harrison Bramlette, competed at the High School Fishing Southeast Regional in Alabama this past Sept. and claimed 5th place.
All you need to do is get a minimum of six students (within the 11-18 year old range) with dues paid and you can have a Youth Bass Fishing Club. You'll also need an adult at your school to help lead the club, provide advice and help arrange at least two club tournaments, fundraisers, speakers and other learning sessions pertaining to fishing for club meetings. The Youth Bass Fishing Clubs is a product of a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and The Bass Federation of South Carolina with help and support from parents, teachers, school districts, local bait & tackle shops, community partners and Pure Fishing.
Find out more about Youth Bass Fishing Clubs by contacting Aquatic Education Coordinator Lorianne Riggin at (803) 737-8483 or RigginL@dnr.sc.gov.
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