Sportsman’s club reels in new members

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

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With some competitive experience under their belt, the EWU sportsman’s club is looking forward to more fishing and their new boat.

This year, the club brought several of their teams to California to compete. Club president Nick Barr and club member Jared Walker also traveled to Georgia and Michigan to compete for national championships.

The club took 4th place in the B.A.S.S. College National Championship in Georgia on Aug. 2-4. After that the club traveled to Michigan as one of the top four teams, Barr made it to the second round and Walker was knocked out in the first round.

The club has significantly gotten bigger over the years. “The club has grown exponentially. We started out with like six members my freshman year, and now we’re upwards of 60 members,” Barr said.

Meetings have also been really active this year, with about 35 people people showing up each month. In addition to this, the club sports federation bought the club a boat. According to Barr, this is a tournament style boat that will help the club continue on after the core members have graduated. “It’s a huge step forward in growing our club, and getting more people involved,” Barr said.

The boat is a 17-foot-6-inch crestliner, with a 140 horsepower Suzuki outboard. “It’s pretty much a general purpose boat, but it’s tournament ready, meaning it’s good enough to take to competitions,” Barr said. The club originally brought the idea of having a boat to Rick Scott, the coordinator of club sports.

Walker also likes the idea of having the boat available to the club. “We have a lot of people that come into the club that are from different backgrounds, that maybe haven’t done the type of fishing that we do,” Walker said. “It opens up the door for a lot of students that don’t necessarily have access to a boat.”

Because the club consists of hunting and outdoor activities. Barr also explains that the club also started a trapshooting team. Trapshooting is a sport that consists of shooting fake pigeons made out of clay.

The clay targets are launched from a machine for the shooter to take down. “It’s just another avenue within our sportsman’s club where people can get college students out involved in the outdoors and competitively too,” Barr said.

The most interesting event for Walker this year was when he traveled to Lake Chatuge, Ga. The event consisted of 60 of the top collegiate fishing teams that qualified from their respective regions. This event was broadcasted on ESPN2.

“That tournament, bar none, was probably the greatest experience that I ever had fishing, because it was the first time that I had ever been back east,” Walker said.

When preparing for upcoming events this year, there are many things the club must do.

“There’s quite a bit that goes into preparing for these tournaments, just because we travel so much farther than everybody,” Walker said. Traveling is never easy for the club, especially when bringing multiple people along. This also has to be planned by Walker and Barr, networking is a big part of preparing for these competitions.

Club member Tyler Wasilewski, explains one more aspect of preparing for upcoming events. “Our main goal right now is fundraising because it’s so expensive for us to commute down to where all of our [competitions] are,” Wasilewski said.

The club will participate in a fishing tournament in February in Lake Havasu, Ariz. The club will also participate in another finishing event in the California Delta near Sacramento in May, followed by Clear Lake, Calif. which is also in May.

“We may choose to partake in other winter events that are local, but we don’t have anything to find yet,” Wasilewski said.

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