High school All-American signs with McKendree U

Signing day for bass fishing: All-American Alec Berens picks McKendree

Dale Bowman @BowmanOutside | email
After signing his letter of intent to bass-fish for McKendree University, Minooka senior Alec Berens shucked his gray sweater vest and pulled a Bearcats jersey over his white shirt and (McK) purple tie.

‘‘A lot of people don’t know that you can get scholarships, business opportunities,’’ said Berens, who will study business administration. ‘‘It is a growing sport, and over the next five-plus years, it will get a lot bigger.’’

In 2010, Bethel University became the first school to offer a bass-fishing scholarship.

Minooka activities director Hillary Holden spoke for many when she said she had to be there for Berens because, ‘‘This is the first time for somebody in activities to get a scholarship [for an activity].’’

Bass fishing is a coed activity for the Illinois High School Association. At McKendree, bass fishing is a coed scholarship sport. McKendree, founded in 1828, is the oldest college in Illinois.

Coach Jon Rinderer, who joined McKendree in 2013, recruits nationwide. Fishing scholarships are sweeteners. Rinderer can offer $1,000 to $3,000 on top of the usual collection of financial aid students put together.

More important, McKendree picks up out-of-state license fees, memberships (BASS, FLW, etc.), gas for boats and vehicles, motel costs (fishermen can spend 86 nights on the road) and boat storage.

‘‘They concentrate on school and fishing,’’ Rinderer said….Full Story