Tuscaloosa County senior signs with Bethel University
The seed was planted when he was 13-years-old.
“A college tournament came on TV one day. I always watched fishing shows,” Dax Ewart said. “Bethel University was mentioned on the show. They talked about how they were the first school to ever give fishing scholarships. I told my mom that day, ‘that’s where I want to go. I’m going to get a fishing scholarship.’”
On Wednesday morning, barely past dawn, Ewart left his home in Northport and drove to McKenzie, Tennessee, and the campus of Bethel University where, by mid morning, he made good on his plan. The 17-year-old senior at Tuscaloosa County High School signed a scholarship to attend and be a member of the bass angler’s team at Bethel University.
“I’m the first one from my high school who has ever gotten a college scholarship in fishing,” Ewart said. “It’s a dream come true.”
According to Bethel’s website, the NAIA school’s club team is one of only six colleges, out of, it says nearly 700 club and team programs, that offers scholarships in fishing.
Ewart’s fishing odyssey began when he was 4. He had never been fishing and asked his grandfather, Bobby McCrory, if he would take him.
“My grandparents used to have a camper, and they’d take me to Lake Lurleen camping with them. That’s where I started fishing. I fished with a little Zebco 33. I was catching bream and catfish off a dock. I’d get so excited when I caught one. I’d be jumping up and down. And I remember my grandfather taking it off the hook. I remember catching my first bass. I was 7- or 8-years-old. It was at Dollarhide Hunting Club. We’d spend the whole day there.
“He didn’t start fishing until I wanted to go. It was just a thing we could do together. He took me just because I wanted to go, and then he got into it, too,” Ewart said of McCrory. “Now he loves to fish just as much, well almost as much, as I do.”
Ewart, who has been competing for about three years, won his first tournament when he was 16. It was a church-sponsored charity tournament on the Black Warrior River in Demopolis.
“That was my first ever win. It was right after I’d gotten my license, around May 23 in 2015. There was an Open and a high school side in the tournament. We were fishing in the high school side, and we ended up having 16 ½ pounds and winning the whole thing.”…Read More