Marion High anglers share fishing passion

Marion team shares passion for fishing with classmates at Fishing Expedition for Special Populations

CARBONDALE — For Landon Owens and Michael Bleyer, of the Marion High School Bass Fishing Team, any day spent fishing is better than a day at school.

On Wednesday, Owens and Bleyer, along with other members of the bass fishing team, spent the day at Bleyer Lake fishing with students from the school’s Strive program at the annual Fishing Expedition for Special Populations.

“We’re just helping out,” Bleyer said, “putting worms on hooks and things like that.”

Michael Bleyer is the grandson of Jim Bleyer, who is the brother of the event’s sponsor, Frank Bleyer.

“This is my fourth year, and everyone’s had a blast,” Owens said.

“It’s fun for everyone. I enjoy helping others fish,” Bleyer added.

Teacher Tiffany Beard, of Marion High School Strive, said the school brought 21 students along with 23 members of the bass fishing team. She said it is her students’ favorite day of the year.

“We’re lucky to have the whole bass fishing team, so they have one-on-one help,” Beard said.

She added that one of the benefits of including the fishing team in the event is the social interaction between students. They become friends and say hello when they see each other in the hallways at school.

“They take good care of the [Strive] students and treat them like kings and queens,” Beard said.

“We are the only school fishing team who comes out to help with fishing,” Bleyer said.

“Being on the fishing team, we love to fish. Getting to share a sport we love with them is great,” Owens said.

This is the 33rd year for the fishing expedition. The event began in the mid-1980s when a few friends suggested that Frank Bleyer allow people with mental and physical challenges to fish at his lake. Bleyer, a former coach and teacher, liked the idea….Full Story