Wylie parents Brady and Alex Beal have been fishing all their lives. It’s something their family does. It’s something their family loves, and it was because of their love for the sport they sought to create a fishing team for Wylie students. What followed was something they did not expect. “I have been stunned at more things than I could have imagined,” said Alex Beal about the interest and support from the community and overall experiences for all involved.
At the junior high level, Beal said the fishing experience is more laid back and allows the kids to learn the skills of fishing while gaining a heart for the sport. “The team often comes together at the location the night before to camp and build memories.”
At the high school level, anglers are asked to up their game both on the water and off since they are competing for titles and scholarships. Beal said UIL regulates this level of competition, which requires the individual to meet eligibility standards for grades and maintain good behavior.
“If an angler wins at this level, grades are reviewed and licenses to fish are checked. A polygraph test is also given to maintain integrity and that no additional help has been given, such as lake conditions or working with professionals within a time period before the tournament begins,” said Beal. “Colleges and professional tournaments require this as well.”
Beal said across the board parents have been unreal with the level of support they have shown for their own anglers as well as the team. “Parents are usually supporting an activity that has them on the sidelines. Our parents have a passion to be there and are building memories alongside their child.”
Parents participate by being boat captains and cook captains. “One hundred percent of our boat captains are volunteers with many led by parents,” she added.
The fishing team has been welcomed by the district but is not a district-funded activity. Beal said sponsors have been pivotal in the success of it getting started and achieving goals they had not planned to meet so quickly. “Within 24 hours we raised $17,000. People gave and wrote checks immediately and without hesitation, showing there clearly is a passion for supporting outdoor sports.”
The program is open to any junior high or high school student who lives in the Wylie school district and pays district taxes. Beal said they just need to bring fishing gear to participate. “The sponsors have made it possible for us to provide a custom team jersey, fees for tournaments, shade tents for the tournaments, and food.”
Additionally, the fishing team provides educational seminars to the students and parents, which also bring opportunities to win prizes like fishing reels and gear. Beal said they want their members to have the opportunity to learn, so the seminars are available to attend in-person or via zoom.
Whether you are a seasoned angler or just picking up a rod and reel, the fishing team has a place for you and any angler in between. With a heart to foster a passion for the sport, provide great memories, and open opportunities for students’ future endeavors, the Wylie Bass Fishing Team looks to be just the right fishing hole to cast your line and see what you catch.
At the time of publishing, the Texas High School Bass Association (THSBA)* listed the Wylie High School Bass Team in sixth place out of 40 teams in the West Texas division. According to THBSA, out of 237 teams in the West Division, these teams are holding their own.
Kale Trumble and Carson Stone 5th place
Averie Myrick and Layton Anderson 13th place
Blane Sisco and Kyler Church 45th place
Davis Haney & AJ Amonett 96th place
Voss Wells & Alex Woolard 148th place
Carter Beard & Bentley Dunigan 160th place
Evvy Chatfield & Cameron Hayes 203rd place
Jack Chatfield tied with Devyn Collum & Trenton Forrester 206th place
*THSBA rankings are updated regularly
By Kristen Johnson