Valley Bass Team to host first club fundraiser on Saturday

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019

VALLEY — There is a new sport that is growing rapidly in the Greater Valley Area.

A meeting room in Bradshaw Library was filled for the Valley Bass Team’s interest meeting on Wednesday night.

“The interests are up, which I’m glad about because we started so small,” Valley bass team founder, president and coach Amber Carroll Morris said. “We were the only bass team, Chambers County didn’t have one besides only a couple that started at the private schools. To start with a few members and then all of a sudden grow and fill up a room, it’s nice. There’s a lot of interests, especially with the scholarships and opportunities. I think once the word got out there, it’s just going to continue to grow.”

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The bass club is open to all Chambers County residents who have currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Parents brought out extra chairs as an attempt to accommodate all of the surprising numbers of parents and children at Wednesday’s meeting.

“Last year, we only had about 10 or 15 boats,” Valley High School sophomore Jacob Wells said while looking around the room. “This year, it looks like we’re going to need about 20 or 25. It’s grown a lot.”

Wells’ passion for fishing began a few years ago during his many quests of finding ways to occupy his time outdoors. He’s also played baseball and basketball growing up.

“The way our tournaments work is that we only have them on Saturdays, and they aren’t too far away, ” Wells said. “Most of the time, you have games on Thursdays and Fridays. Well, because our tournaments on Saturdays, everybody has time to fit them on our schedule if they played baseball in the spring or any other spring sport.

The 15-year-old said that he doesn’t watch television or play video games.

“I feel like that’s a big problem with our generation,” Wells said. “Most people sit inside all day. I think if most people tried out fishing, hunting or bass fishing, they would stay outdoors all of the time, but nobody wants to try it because nobody thinks it’s worth it.”

From “safe daylight” until noon on Saturday morning, the bass team is hosting a benefit open tournament at West Point Lake, launching from Dewberry Access. The entry fee is $50 per boat.

“I think it’s just huge to get a kid involved,” Morris said. “[To] get them off the video games, get them off the streets. Once you get them fishing, you get them hooked, it’s a lifelong thing and it’s just great for them. It’s exercise, it’s sportsmanship. You also have the colleges that want bass team members and they’re offering scholarships. It’s big, and I think kids should be outside.”

The 2020 bass fishing season begins next February.