GONE FISHING: Straughn High School starts fishing team

Published 7:30 am Saturday, October 30, 2021

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With high school fishing teams becoming more popular, Straughn joined that list at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

The Straughn High School Fishing Team consists of six anglers and three boat captains. Benji Wilson is the coach, team sponsor, and one of the captains. Clint Burkett and Tommy Singletary serve as the other two captains. This year’s anglers are Rex Burkett, Shy Davis, Ryan Moore, Kalel Savage, Preston Sherwood, and Devon Singletary.

“We had several students who approached (Principal) Mr. (Matt) Cobb with interest of starting a team at SHS. Some of our students enjoy fishing and wanted the opportunity to do something that they loved while earning recognition for their school,” Wilson said. “This also could lead to college opportunities for them in the future.”

As a member of the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association, practice fishing tournaments are currently going strong. Straughn’s first-ever competition took place at Lake Martin on Oct. 1, and a second one is scheduled for Nov. 6 in Eufaula. Tournaments will begin in January, and the team plans to be a part of several competitions throughout the state. This year’s team is excited about the opportunity to make history in their inaugural season.

Interested individuals must meet two key requirements for consideration to the team. They must attend Straughn High School and will need to speak with Cobb or Wilson about their interest in joining.

“It’s a great escape from all of the stress that the students deal with every day and an opportunity to be in peaceful setting of the outdoors. The competition aspect adds an energy and excitement and brings a focus to the activity,” he said.

Fishing is not just casting a rod and waiting for a fish to bite. It is a lifelong skill that an angler can use his/her entire life. Those who are interested must dedicate themselves to learning as much as possible about the sport. By learning the sport at an early age, anglers develop skills by the time they get to college. It takes planning, training, decision-making, highs and lows of success or failure, sportsmanship, and building relationships.

Wilson added that the main focus he hopes to accomplish is the character building of the students. “Competitive fishing can help to develop characteristics such as social skills, teamwork, responsibility, as well as performing under pressure. All of these things are beneficial in everyday life, in school, and in the work force.”

Like most sports, competitive fishing has expenses such as tournament fees, fuel, boats, lures, rods, and overnight stays. Straughn is grateful for the community’s support and sponsorships.

For more information follow the Straughn High School Fishing Team on their Facebook page.

“The Straughn High School fishing team gives students a sense of purpose and a great deal of pride in representing not only Straughn High School but the fishing team. I am both honored and blessed to be a part of this first fishing team here at SHS. I look forward to seeing this program and our students grow in the future,” Wilson said.