IHSA fishing

Illinois will become the first state to have a statewide bass fishing tournament at the high school level.

Where was this when I was staring at creeks from my school windows?

On Monday, the Illinois High School Board of Directors approved a recommendation from executive director Marty Hickman to add the bass fishing tournament “as an IHSA activity beginning in the spring of 2009, provided that adequate sponsorships are secured in advance for the tournament.”

From many discussions I’ve had in the months since I wrote the original column in the Sept. 16 Sun-Times, I’ve been amazed at the level of support from the business end of fishing, the club level (which will be central to making it work), the teachers and other volunteers, and the high school kids.

Hickman and assistant executive director Dave Gannaway, who will handle the administrative end of the tournament, obviously have been getting similar feedback.

“The level of support for a bass fishing tournament, from both our membership and from other non-school groups, has demonstrated clearly to our Board that this event is one with potential tremendous value to our schools,” Hickman said. “Implementing such an activity will enable our schools to provide another opportunity for students that will enrich their educational experience and keep with the Associations mission.”

Let’s be blunter and simpler, it will keep kids like me more interested in their schools and learning.

The hard part is going to be the implementing the structure of the tournament and managing the mass of volunteers (and it will be a mass of volunteers) who will step up.

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