Balancing High School Fishing and Other Sports
By David Dueland
I would like to thank John Neporadny and Marc Rogers for giving me the opportunity to write these paragraphs each month. Fishing in high school creates unique challenges because we have school work, other sports, and our social schedule as well.
School work always comes first before fishing, if we do not maintain our academic standards Coach Kyle Morris will suspend us from the upcoming tournaments. Along with fishing, several members of our team also participate in other sports, such as football. This year presented some difficult late nights and early mornings fishing a tournament the day after a Friday night football game. It really takes commitment to excellence to maintain what is asked of us in all aspects of our lives, and as members of the Cullman High School Fishing Team.
Balancing school work with tournaments and missing school can be one of the hardest things for a high school angler. When it comes to missing school for a tournament, it is our responsibility to complete all school work before we leave for the tournament. If we do not finish our work prior to leaving we will have to do it after the tournament, when we are exhausted from long hours on the lake. That is one of the main reasons why it is important to be proactive on classwork, and do not get behind, when the mountain of work could result in poor grades, and then ending up not being able to compete in tournaments.
Football season is very difficult to get out and fish for me as a football player and angler. It is important for me as an angler to spend as much time as possible on the water to hone my skills. However, during football season practice and meetings often last too long for afternoon fishing and the exhaustion of Friday nights make Saturdays difficult as well. There are times for fishing though, Wednesdays we normally have shorter days, and some of my teammates and I can visit a local city lake and spend a few hours on the water practicing and building camaraderie.
During the school year some of the Cullman anglers such as Cameron Glasscock, Lawson Graves, Keaton Kinney, Dawson Drake, Bradley Hill and me fish every day possible on the previously mentioned city lake. On that lake, Lake Catoma, the boat size is limited to 9.9 horsepower motors and smaller, so it is under less pressure than most lakes, and we can prepare ourselves for the next tournament by transferring what patterns we find on Lake Catoma to whatever fishery hosts the next tournament. We find new techniques, and put ourselves in situations that we don’t usually see during a tournament in order to advance our skillset.
Though it presents its challenges, high school fishing’s rewards far outweigh (pun intended) its difficulties.