DRAFFENVILLE – Marshall County High School will offer a $2,000 stipend for a coach of the new MCHS bass fishing team.
The board of education last week approved athletic director Jeff Stokes’ recommendation to set the stipend.
Stokes said the stipend is equivalent to that offered to coaches of other non-revenue sports such as golf and tennis.
Candidates do not have to be certified teachers, but do have to have 64 hours of college credit, Stokes said. A waiver could be requested on behalf of a candidate not meeting that stipulation.
“In any coaching search, you always look for a certified person first,” Stokes said. “But we will consider all applicants.”
As of Monday, no applications had been received, Stokes said.
Bass fishing was added as an interscholastic sport-activity by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association in February, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.
Marshall County already has a bass fishing club and has already begun staging tournament events, the result of a grassroots effort led by students who love to fish, their parents and other volunteers, with assistance from Benton-based FLW Outdoors, one of the major sanctioning organizations for professional fishing.
Stokes told the school board about the success of the club.
“We have 60-some members,” he said. “This has gone over great.”
Marshall County will host a state championship tournament May 5 out of Kenlake Marina in Aurora. The tournament is being presented by the The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, in partnership with FLW.
“We are thrilled with the support that High School Fishing has received from Marshall County High School,” said Dave Washburn, vice president of operations at FLW.
High school fishing tournaments are conducted with two students per boat, with an adult boat captain as operator, competing as individuals and as teams representing participating schools.
“We have 40 male students and seven females,” he said. “This is just the ones that have actually participated in a tournament.”
A full schedule of events is coming up for the MCHS bass club, with tournaments on three straight weekends starting with one sponsored by the Lyon County fishing club Saturday on Lake Barkley at Eddy Creek Marina.
“When we introduced the program last year Jeff Stokes and [superintendent] Trent Lovett immediately understood the benefits and worked diligently to lay the groundwork for a successful team,” Washburn said.
“There is no better place to fish in Kentucky than right here in Marshall County.
“We fully expect for Marshall County to have one of the strongest teams in the state.”