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Presley reels in a new team

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Presley reels in a new team

The new fishing team plans on holding its first tournament in July.

The new fishing team plans on holding its first tournament in July.

Eden Smalley

The new fishing team plans on holding its first tournament in July.

Eden Smalley

Eden Smalley

The new fishing team plans on holding its first tournament in July.

AMBER YANG, STAFF WRITER

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Even before the sun rises on a Saturday morning, the Trinity Prep fishing team is out on the boats and docks. When asked about their dedication, the team answers, “The fish bite better earlier in the morning.”

After many years of an extensive athletic program, this is the first year that our school has a fishing club. Led by Social Science teacher Jeremy Presley, the club is gaining an overwhelming amount of participation.

At this point, the club is composed of approximately 12 students and is still working on making new additions for a substantial team. But, the developing team has already been victorious in their Preseason Fishing Classic Tournament against Oviedo High School.

Presley’s passion for fishing started at an early age, and the serenity of the sport has always been there for him.

“I’ve always enjoyed fishing. I used to fish with my dad growing up, and my grandfather, who died when I was ten, loved bass fishing,” Presley said. “I think fishing helps me feel connected to them.”

The members of the club are inspired by Presley’s love for the coaching position. It is not uncommon to see him fishing on Lake Martha and Lake Burkett late in the day, and he welcomes his team to join him.

“I enjoy the peace and serenity that fishing provides—it’s where I recharge and have some downtime from my hectic life,” Presley said. “It’s also really exciting because you can be enjoying the peace and quiet when a huge fish explodes on your lure—there’s no other feeling like it!”

From participating in early morning tournaments to having sessions with professionals, this team is lacking anything but dedication.

Most of the club members already have an extensive background in fishing, and they can easily relate to Presley’s passion.

“My grandpa has a boat in Colombia, and he used to take me out [fishing] when I was little,” said freshman Nicolas Otero. “Ever since then, I’ve always liked it, and I fish whenever I have free time.”

Even though the team understands the basics of fishing, the students have yet to experience a competitive fishing atmosphere since all members had only been fishing recreationally until this year.

Because their expenses are not included i n the athletic budget, Presley has set up connections with Bass Pro Shops and Plano for supplies. The team would especially like to thank Plano for providing tackle boxes for team use. The team also tries to raise funds through bake sales and community service projects.

“Mr. Presley is an amazing coach who is proactive in getting the team opportunities that might not be available to those who aren’t on the team,” said senior Chris Chew.

For now, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) does not recognize fishing as a sport, but Presley and the team are working to proclaim their beloved hobby as both a pleasure and a sport. According to some members of the team, the fishing club is not an extracurricular that takes an extensive amount of time. Some people join Mr. Presley at the lakes everyday, and others choose to fish on their own time.

“Competitive bass fishing is the fastest growing high school and college sport,” Presley said. “In fact, Illinois and Kentucky have recently sanctioned the sport, and colleges and universities are now offering fishing scholarships.”

As high school fishing clubs become more popular, the team is looking forward to many more opportunities for competitions with other local schools.

They plan on hosting their first tournament in July on either the Butler Chain or John’s Lake in Clermont. Until then, the team hopes to attend one tournament a month. These tournaments are peaceful without the loud applause and cheering that are tradition in most sporting events.

As more students have developed an interest in joining the team, Presley believes that the club will one day become a close family.

“We are developing camaraderie as we spend more time with each other. We enjoy talking about the sport, helping each other become better anglers and watching tournaments together during lunch,” Presley said.

The team has great insights for future tournaments, and they look forward to welcoming fishing enthusiasts around campus.

The slow time of the sport allows the team to form new relationships, and pass the time talking to other people.

“You can’t really practice fishing,” Otero said. “Once you know the basics, it [is] just patience.”

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About the Writer
AMBER YANG, Editor-in-Chief

Amber Yang is a senior entering her fourth year on staff. She is currently Editor-in-Chief but has a love for writing controversial pieces for the Opinions...

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