CHIPLEY - Chipley High School is casting for more student engagement with its new fishing team, the CHS Finatics. Assistant Principal Sam Cox says the team is another way to get students involved in extracurricular activities.
“We want to engage more kids and get them involved,” said Cox. “What better way than fishing, especially since many kids fish in their off time.”
The first fishing team in CHS history is sponsored by the Florida Wildlife Commission, from which the team will earn a $500 grant by performing a conservation project. Cox states the project will be a "clean up float", planned for either Holmes Creek or Chipola River. This activity entails students floating down the waterway in a clean-up effort, picking up trash as they go.
An inaugural intrateam tournament was held Thursday, March 11, with the winners receiving a gift card from Kings Drugs and Outdoors, who sponsored the event. The tournament was held at El Rancho Lake Lodge in Chipley, with team members competing against each other for top honors. Cray Holley reeled in the biggest fish, and Jacob Pettis caught the most.
The co-ed team is working on a partnership with the Washington County Bass Club, which would have each student pair with an adult for a chance to win cash prizes in categories. Finatics Coach Will Holley says in addition to being a fun extracurricular activity, the team is a way to teach students about conservation.
“Doing this type of activity with the kids is fun, but it also gives us the opportunity to teach them about the importance of conservation and keeping our waterways clean for the future,” said Holley.
Holley says he plans to hold a tournament every month to keep the students active and engaged.
“Having monthly tournaments allows the kids to be competitive while still holding them to a high standard,” said Holley. “Being part of Finatics means having the grades to participate just like in other sports.”
Students can join the team anytime during the school year by emailing Holley at: email@example.com