Editorial: Can’t win if we don’t participate

Jun. 02, 2014 @ 11:40 PM

Vance County missed an opportunity with its young people recently. We’re miffed and disappointed.

The N.C. High School Fishing Championship was recently held on Kerr Lake. Total entries from Vance County? Zero.

Nutbush Park and the Vance County Tourism Development Authority hosted the event, an arm of The Bass Federation and Fishing League Worldwide. FLW often hosts events at Kerr Lake.

And we’re pretty sure any number of high schoolers in the area are frequent fishing visitors to Kerr Lake, too.

We just can’t explain in the name of Roland Martin, Bill Dance or Franc White why we got skunked in the participation category.

High school fishing, as a competition, is still spawning. This was our state’s third go at it, the first happening on Lake Norman in 2012 and the last two on the pride of Vance County out of Nutbush.

For those thinking N.C. State University has competed in something similar, the Basspack was national champion in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Yes, they had to start somewhere, too.

Here’s the good part. Two people make up a team. That’s it. And the competition doesn’t even have to be tied to a school. It can be, but it could also be club style — like the 130 students from seven high schools in the River Valley Bass Club down in Arkansas.

We don’t necessarily expect that many. But the competition could include a partnership of sorts for the many schools in Vance County or even the entire Tri-County region. Public, private, charter — all could form teams.

And, unlike some other competitions in high school sports, multiple entries are possible, and co-ed competition is welcome. We could have several two-person teams.

Also unlike many high school champions where winning the state is it, the top two finishers qualify to a regional level against other states.

Granted, we’d love to have a state champ and on Kerr Lake no less. But the idea is to foster educational principles through fishing and get youngsters in the great outdoors.

Franc used to close his television program by saying, “Do yourself a favor; take a kid fishing.” He had it right.

It’s time for us to get it right with teams in next year’s state championship.