If school administrators in South Carolina get their way, locker rooms may soon be stocked with crankbaits, plastic worms, and life preservers.
Fox News reports that several schools in South Carolina are working with the state’s Department of Natural Resources to make fishing a competitive, varsity letter sport. Several schools in the Palmetto State already have fishing programs or clubs but none so far are recognized sports.
Daniel Sisk, the fishing club coach at Camden High School in Columbia, explains that students “want their picture on the wall just like the football team and the volleyball and basketball and other state champion teams from Camden.”
High school freshman and Camden Fishing Club member Catie Charles agrees. “If it was recognized as a varsity sport, then your benefits would be you can letter in it, you can get scholarships,” Charles said. “But right now you don’t. You just go out there for fun and nobody really notices.”
And fun is what many people associate with fishing rather than believing it to be a true sport. Sisk disagrees. “Fishing is a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally,” he said. “It’s very tough … We aren’t going out and doing two-a-days as far as practice goes, but it’s eight-hour days.” Fishing Club member Carson Morgan agrees, “I heard that throwing 150 casts is equivalent to throwing 100 pitches in a game.”
So far, 13 schools have signed a petition to be presented to the South Carolina High School League, which regulates school athletics in the state, to sanction fishing as a sport. This group hopes to add another two schools to the petition before formally submitting it. The schools already have the support of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Director Lorianne Riggins who said, “I want to get as many clubs as possible so that the impact is like ‘Hey look! This really is something that a lot of kids can be involved in. There is a lot of interest here.’ “
Not only do I hope this passes but I hope other schools take notice and jump on the flotilla. Anything that gets kids outside is a great idea so far as I’m concerned.
Author’s note: I originally wanted to cover this story because I misread it. I read it as “I heard that throwing 150 CATS is equivalent to throwing 100 pitches in a game.” My bad.