By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
Washington teacher Nathan Matthes wants to make sure a new student club won?t be ?the one that got away.?
Matthes approached the Washington School Board Wednesday night to discuss the possibility of creating a bass fishing team. ?College bass fishing has taken off,? Matthes said. ?It isn?t sanctioned with the NCAA yet, but I see that happening. The University of Iowa has a bass fishing team. ISU (Iowa State University) has a bass fishing team. There aren?t scholarships yet, but I see that happening soon.?
There is already student interest, Matthes said, as a dozen students have expressed interest in joining the team.
The idea was well received by the board, with several of the members telling some of their own experiences fishing in area tournaments. Board member James Almelien said with the success of such clubs as archery and bowling, that he thought the bass fishing team would be a good addition.
?The more we can have for our students to participate in, the better,? he said. ?We want our students to participate.?
Matthes said he had already received two sponsorships for the team and he has two personal boats he would be willing to allow the team to use. He did ask the board about the possibility of acquiring two more boats to use. ?The ultimate goal would be to have three or four boats so everyone can participate.? He suggested seeking a Washington County Riverboat Foundation grant to assist with the funds.
Matthes also asked about the availability of school SUVs for the team as well as insurance coverage and school storage options.
Superintendent Willie Stone said Matthes had approached him with the idea of the team and Stone had recommended he bring the idea to the board. He said that he would explore issues like insurance and logistics and would return the issue to the school board.